Mark Johnston (racehorse trainer)

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Mark Johnston
Personal information
Born (1959-10-10) 10 October 1959 (age 64)
Glasgow, Scotland
Home townGlasgow
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
OccupationRacehorse trainer
SpouseDeirdre Johnston
ChildrenCharlie Johnston, Angus Johnston
Mark Johnston 2018
Middleham Lower Moor, near where Johnston trains

Mark Johnston (born 10 October 1959) is a Scottish racehorse trainer based in Middleham, North Yorkshire, England.

Born in Glasgow, he studied at the University of Glasgow and is a qualified vet. He started training at a stable near Louth, Lincolnshire in 1987, and his first winner was Hinari Video at Carlisle[1] He has been training in Middleham since 1988 when he purchased Kingsley House (often falsely attributed to be the former home of Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies).

In 2004 he won the 1,000 Guineas with Attraction. Other successful horses he has trained are Mister Baileys, winner of the 2,000 Guineas, Shamardal, 2004 European Champion Two-Year-Old, and Double Trigger, winner of the Ascot Gold Cup.

Johnston's horses are known for their front running style and bravery in a finish, two attributes that were best advertised by the exploits of Attraction. He cites Shamardal as the best horse he ever trained, and Attraction as the one he is most proud of.[1]

He reached his 4,000th winner on the flat in Britain when Dominating won at Pontefract on Monday 23 October 2017. He is only the third trainer in either code to reach that figure.[1]

On 23 August 2018 Johnston became the most successful British Flat trainer of all time when Frankie Dettori rode Poet's Society to win the 3.00 at York at odds of 20–1 to give Mark his 4,194 winner. In August 2022 he took his number of winners to 5,000 when Dubai Mile won at Kempton Park.[2]

In January 2022 Johnston's son and assistant trainer, Charlie, joined him as joint training licence holder. As joint trainers the pair were responsible for 176 winners in 2022. In December 2022 Mark Johnston announced that he would step down from the training licence, leaving Charlie as the sole trainer with Mark as assistant trainer. Johnston stressed that he wasn't retiring and the training partnership would continue as before.[3]

The motto of the stable is "Always Trying".[4]

He is married to Deirdre, a former teacher.[1]

Major wins[edit]

United Kingdom Great Britain

France France

Germany Germany

Republic of Ireland Ireland

Italy Italy

  • Gran Criterium – (3) – Lend a Hand (1997), Pearl of Love (2003), Kirklees (2006)

United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Russell, Colin (23 October 2017). "Johnston marches on to 4,000 with all-time British record firmly in his sights". Racing Post. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  2. ^ Huggins, Charlie (24 August 2022). "Mark Johnston becomes first trainer to saddle 5,000 winners in Britain". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  3. ^ Scargill, Peter (30 December 2022). "Record-breaking trainer Mark Johnston set to relinquish licence next week". Racing Post. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  4. ^ Oakley, Robin. "Always Trying: Britain's most successful – and argumentative – trainer". Spectator. Retrieved 10 January 2019.

External links[edit]