Mark Johnston has become the first person to train 5,000 winners in Great Britain after Dubai Mile claimed victory at Kempton racecourse (5.30pm) this afternoon.
Johnston, 62, broke Richard Hannon Sr.’s record for number of winners trained in Great Britain in August 2018 and he has now become the first trainer to reach the milestone of 5,000 winners four years later.
Johnston began sharing his trainer’s licence with his son Charlie, 31, earlier this year. Together they have registered 126 winners, with Johnston achieving 4,874 winners by himself up until this year, meaning Mark has trained the grand total of 5,000 winners in his career. The landmark consists of 4,995 winners on the Flat and five over Jumps.
On the achievement, Johnston said: “It’s obviously a bit different from breaking the record in 2018, you could say no-one has reached 4,194 winners (the previous record) so it’s not as if I’m breaking new ground, it’s just another landmark and setting the bar higher for people to try to reach.
“The main thing is the whole business revolves around winners and a lot of winners means a lot of happy owners. Hopefully we can continue doing the same thing.”
Johnston began training in 1987 and his first winner came with Hinari Video at Carlisle racecourse in July that year.
Since then, he has had more than 200 winners in a year on 10 occasions, including in 2019 when he won the most prize money of his career with £5,399,691 and had the most winners in a single year.
Johnston has had 14 British Group 1 wins throughout his career, the latest with Subjectivist in last year’s Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, and the trainer said of his superstar stayer: “I think I said at the time I’d put Subjectivist in the top three racehorses that I have ever trained and I’d stand by that.
“That was based on the fact that when I made that statement he’d won the Ascot Gold Cup, he was basically the best horse in the world over two miles and above and in taking him to the races at that point, I didn’t fear anything other than Subjectivist not being at his best. I felt if he was at his best, he would win. I’ve only ever had that attitude with two other horses before, who were Shamardal and Attraction.”
ITV Racing’s Brough Scott said of Johnston reaching 5,000 winners: “He has an unbelievable energy, combined with original thinking and he’s changed the way people look at things. He came in starting from zero but brought a fresh mindset, real determination and a proper grounding.
“He’s done extraordinary things and it’s very much a partnership with Charlie, they are a talented family. A lot of things happen in racing because things have always happened that way, but they are not prepared to just accept things.
“Mark will argue for how he thinks things should be done, starting up he didn’t copy other people, he created his own system and he’s kept rebooting it, he’s not afraid of doing different things. He’s a remarkable man and racing is lucky to have him.”
ITV Racing colleague Jason Weaver, who rode Mister Baileys to victory in the 2000 Guineas in 1994 and Double Trigger in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 1995 for Johnston, said: “If you go from early on, from training on the bomb site, from his vet background, he has a complete understanding of the horse. He is a great operator of the horse and his whole system is a well-oiled machine. He has a great attitude, he’s very much single-minded.
“People say that horses are like their trainers, and he is like his horses, he’ll keep pushing and he is always tough at the finish.
“He’s very easy to work with, you go and get on with it. He knows what his job is, he’s done it so now you go and do yours. He gives his riders free reign which makes your job easier as a jockey.”
by Great British Racing