Mark Johnston

'We Are Going To Get Relegated If We Keep Selling Our Best Strikers'

   There have been a lot of football analogies in racing this week. Most have centered around a hypothetical situation whereby the Kevin De Bruynes or the Erling Haalands of this world were leaving the Premier League for sunnier-and more lucrative pay packets-in foreign leagues.     For all the Manchester City fans out there, you can relax, as the analogy was simply fictional. However, there is nothing fictional about the mass exodus of talent facing British and Irish racing.    Ger Lyons is better qualified than most to speak about...

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'We're Not At The Sales To Buy Clean X-Rays-We're There To Buy A Racehorse'

Mark Johnston, one of the most successful trainers of the modern era in Britain, joined forces with his son Charlie last winter and things couldn't be going better for the father-and-son team in their first full season holding the licence together.     The Middleham team sent out 100 or more winners for 28 consecutive seasons and, with 94 winners already on the board this term, are sure to surpass that tally once again.      Interestingly, the Johnstons have sent out 26 juvenile winners this season, which is more than any...

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“Double Whammy” for Thompson and Tinnakill Crowns Unforgettable Monday

Most Mondays are utterly forgettable. Not in the case of Ian Thompson, manager at Tinnakill House Stud who, along with his boss Dermot Cantillon, kick-started the week in style after Dornoch Castle (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}), bred by the pair, confirmed himself a hugely promising colt in winning unchallenged at Ayr.  Shortly after Dornoch Castle coasted home to win for the second time from as many outings, his trainer Mark Johnston revealed that he has some major ambitions for the 2-year-old, mainly the G2 Vintage S. at Goodwood.  If you thought...

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Why Redvers Forgave Conformation Issues to Buy Lion Of War for Just 7,000gns

Lion Of War (GB) (Roaring Lion) became a TDN Rising Star after bolting up at Newcastle on Thursday but David Redvers, who signed for the colt on behalf of Qatar Racing for just 7,000gns, revealed how he called on the opinion of co-trainer Mark Johnston in a bid to ascertain if he would stand up to training or not.  Redvers revealed he was surprised that Lion Of War was knocked down to him for just 7,000gns at Book 3 of the Tattersalls October Sale, however, he admitted that the colt's...

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Highclere Rely on Royal Patronage as Lysander Ruled out of the Derby

Royal Patronage (Fr) (Wootton Bassett (GB) will carry the hopes of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing in the G1 Cazoo Derby on Saturday week after connections ruled out running the promising Lysander (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) in the Epsom Classic. Runner-up to Derby favourite Desert Crown (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) in the Dante S. at York a fortnight ago, Royal Patronage will bid to reverse that form at Epsom, while Listed Cocked Hat S. third Lysander will be aimed at Royal Ascot following his defeat at Goodwood. Highclere's Harry Herbert said: "We had...

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Johnstons Off The Mark With Golden Sands

Golden Sands (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}) became the first winner co-trained by Charlie and Mark Johnston over the all-weather at Wolverhampton on Monday. It was their second day under their new dual licence. The elder Johnston had 4,874 winners on his own-the highest in UK racing history. Winless with a pair of runners at Newcastle on Sunday, the Johnstons had to settle for second with their first runner on Monday, Achnamara (GB) (Kodiac {GB}). Golden Sands, who was the 9-4 favourite in the 1700-metre Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free H., made...

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Sir Ron Priestley To Stand In France

Sir Ron Priestley (GB) (Australia {GB}-Reckoning {Ire}, by Danehill Dancer {Ire}), a multiple group winner and runner-up in the 2019 G1 St Leger, has been retired from racing and will enter stud in 2022 at Haras du Saz in France. The soon-to-be 6-year-old will stand for €2,500. Bred by Mascalls Stud, Sir Ron Priestley was purchased by trainer Mark Johnston for 70,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2017. Racing for Paul Dean, he ran twice at two and broke his maiden at first asking at...

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Charlie Johnston To Join Father Mark On License

From Jan. 1, Charlie Johnston will join his father Mark Johnston, Britain's winning-most trainer in history, on a joint license at Kingsley Park in Middleham. The news was first reported by Thoroughbred Racing Commentary. "I feel that there should be recognition of that," said Mark Johnston of his son's pivotal role at the stable. "He has been doing that work for the past three years. But also the time has come for Charlie to share the responsibility as well. He has passed all his modules at the BHA, and his...

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Gold Cup Defence For Subjectivist as Sir Ron Priestley Retired

Dual Group 1 winner Subjectivist (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}), who was injured in training in July, is aiming for a title defence of the G1 Gold Cup in June. The 4-year-old won the G1 Prix Royal-Oak, G2 Dubai Gold Cup and Gold Cup in succession before his plans were derailed for the season. "Subjectivist is still here at Kingsley Park and there are no immediate plans for retirement," said trainer Mark Johnston. "It is well publicised that an injury came to light soon after he won this year's Ascot Gold Cup...

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The Last Lion Returns at Lingfield

The Last Lion (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}), a winner of the 2016 G1 Middle Park S., has returned to training and is among the entries of the Betway Golden Rose S. at Lingfield on Saturday. He served two seasons at Darley's Kildangan Stud in Ireland, but was found to be sub-fertile. The bay went back into training at previous trainer Mark Johnston's yard this spring. "He's been back since around May time," said Johnston. "Basically, once it was realised he was infertile, he was retired [from stud duties] and I purchased...

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Royal Patronage Confirmed For Vertem Futurity

Two-time group winner Royal Patronage (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) will take part in the Oct. 23 G1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster. The Mark Johnston trainee won the G3 Acomb S. two starts back on Aug. 18 and defeated subsequent G3 Autumn S. victor Coroebus (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the G2 Royal Lodge S. at Newmarket on Sept. 25. "We're heading to the Vertem Futurity," said Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing. "Mark and Charlie [Johnston] are very happy with him--I've seen them at the sales--and the...

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Wootton Bassett's Royal Patronage Swoops In Royal Lodge Thriller

Highclere Thoroughbred Racing's 62,000gns Tattersalls October Book 1 graduate Royal Patronage (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) shed maiden status in style when routing his rivals by five lengths and more in a July 29 Epsom novices' event and the Mark Johnston trainee defied odds of 25-1 when value for his 2 1/4-length score in York's Aug. 18 G3 Acomb S. when last seen. The April-foaled bay had previously encountered Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) when second to that subsequent G1 Vincent O'Brien National S. hero in a June 11 Sandown...

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