Mark Johnston

Welcome to our profile of the most successful British Flat Trainer of all time, Mark Johnston:

Key Stats

Name – Mark Johnston

Date of Birth – 10 October 1959

Birthplace – Glasgow

Racing Yard – Kingsley House, Middleham

Big Wins: 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas, Ascot Gold Cup, Coronation Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Irish 1000 Guineas, Irish St Leger, Dubai Sheema Classic, Dewhurst Stakes and a host of other top prizes.

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston Trainer Profile

Johnston qualified as a vet at Glasgow University and worked in a veterinary practice for three years.

His father owned horses and this sparked his interest in racing, leading him to start training in Lincolnshire in 1987.

He recorded his first-ever winner that year with Hinari Video at Carlisle Racecourse and moved to Middleham in 1988.

Johnston soon established a reputation as a trainer of tough and progressive horses as well as being able to train winners at the highest level.

He has eight Classic victories to his credit across Europe and over 4,500 winners in Britain.

Mark Johnston – Key Trainer Stats

Although he will of course treasure the Classic victories of Mister Baileys (1994) and Attraction (2004), it has been his remarkable ability to maximise the potential of every horse in his care that has led to his unprecedented success.

On 23rd August 2018, Poet’s Society provided him with his 4,194th winner, eclipsing Richard Hannon Snr to become the most successful British Flat Trainer of all time.

Records have fallen to him consistently in recent years.

In 2009 he became the first Flat trainer to win more than 200 races in a season, a feat he has now achieved 9 times.

He has trained over 100 British winners for an incredible 27 consecutive seasons.

He also holds the record for the most winners in a calendar month, saddling 50 winners in July 2019.

Mark Johnston’s Big Race Wins

The 2000 Guineas victory of Mister Baileys in 1994 was a breakthrough Classic success. The colt failed to stay in The Derby and it was another ten years before Johnston next tasted Classic glory with the brilliant filly Attraction. She won the 1000 Guineas, the Irish 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes.

1995 Ascot Gold Cup winner Double Trigger was a tremendously popular stayer, a sphere in which Johnston has always excelled. He later won the race with Royal Rebel (2001, 2002) and Subjectivist (2021).

Shamardal won the 2004 Dewhurst Stakes for Johnston and the colt would later win the French Derby in the care of Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor.

Other notable big race winners for Johnston include Bijou d’Inde 1996 (St James’s Palace Stakes), Lumiere (2015 Cheveley Park Stakes) and Nahoodh (2008 Falmouth Stakes).

Mark Johnston’s – Most Famous Victories

Mister Baileys was a high-class juvenile, winning three of his five races culminating in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes in 1993. He went straight to the 2000 Guineas where he started at odds of 16-1 and just held the late challenge of Grand Lodge by a short-head.

Attraction had won all five starts as a two-year-old and went to Newmarket for the 1000 Guineas. She started 11-2 at her first attempt at a mile and made all the running to beat Godolphin’s Sundrop. She followed up in the Irish 1000 Guineas and was a brilliant winner of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. She suffered her first defeat when beaten by Soviet Song in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

Double Trigger captured the public’s imagination, a flashy chestnut with a broad white blaze and a typical Johnston never-say-die attitude to racing. He won three Doncaster Cups, three Goodwood Cups and a well-deserved Ascot Gold Cup.

Summary

Mark Johnston’s motto is “Always Trying” and his horses have a reputation for being hardy and resolute.

He has never believed in having them molly-coddled in their stables and they will often run up a sequence of victories.

Punters know they are going to get a run for their money with the Johnston horses.

Other Leading Horse Racing Trainers

As the Co-Founder of British Racecourses, I love the chance to share my enjoyment of racing with others. As a family, we have always loved the racing and went to Haydock races as kids, as often as we could. We are now lucky enough to own some fantastic racehorses who we will follow around the tracks and we have had some great wins. As part of British Racecourses, I enjoy visiting and reviewing the racecourses that we visit, all of which I think have something to offer and are brilliant in their own ways.