Trainer Mark Johnston aiming for St Leger win

Mark Johnston
Namibian was Johnston's 50th winner at Goodwood

North Yorkshire's Mark Johnston believes one day he will train the winner of the St Leger.

The Middleham-based handler has had horses placed in the race in the past and he is keen to go one better and take the ultimate prize.

Johnston said: "I would love to win the St Ledger.

"I've not had many runners but I've had some great runners. I do see it as the ultimate middle distance to staying test for a three-year old."

Johnston added: "Bandari ran in it and was third, Double Trigger was third which is something that an awful lot of people forget.

"I've had so many of that type of horse so I would love to win it."

After winning the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, Johnston is considering entering Namibian into this year's race at Doncaster which takes place next month.

"He's a horse who's gradually worked his way up to this level. He wasn't thought to be this level at the end of last year or at the beginning of this year, " said Johnston.

"As a result I've had no discussions with the owners about long-term targets or targets of that magnitude. We'll have to go back and think about it."

Johnston also praised the efforts of his winning jockey Silvestre de Sousa who has started riding for his stable after Joe Fanning fractured a heel at Wolverhampton last month.

"He's a champion contender. He's a magnificent jockey. I spotted that last year. Mostly he was riding for very small stables around Yorkshire so I knew he was very good.

"I have to feel slightly sorry for Joe Fanning who was also having a tremendous start to his season before the injury.

"Silvestre's made the most of Joe being out of action. But at the same time, we've got a big yard, there's plenty of rides for both of them.

"I see no reason why Silvestre can't keep going even when Joe comes back at a similar level."

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