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Mark Johnston equals record for number of winners in a calendar year

Mon 21 Oct 2019

Mark Johnston equalled the record for total number of winners trained in a calendar year in Britain when Bo Samraan came home in front at Pontefract on Monday.

Ridden by Joe Fanning, the 6-1 chance got the better of Sod’s Law by a head in the KC Ethical And Sustainable British Caviar Handicap.

Johnston, 60, who last year became the most successful trainer in terms of career winners in Britain, was saddling his 235th winner of 2019.

The record had previously been shared between Richard Hannon senior, who set his best tally in 2013, and Richard Fahey, who equalled the mark in 2015.

Before this year, Johnston, who trains at Kingsley House in Middleham, North Yorkshire, had a personal best of 226.

Johnston saddled an incredible 50 winners in July alone, having sent out 215 runners with a hugely impressive strike-rate of 23 per cent.

Fanning has been almost ever-present throughout the Johnston success story, while Franny Norton has also been a big part of the team in recent years.

“I was adamant we weren’t going to go chasing it running everything, so we haven’t had many runners or winners the last few weeks,” said Johnston to Racing TV.

“This lad had never been out of the frame, but he got an injury and that set him back.

“We weren’t confident he’d handle these conditions, but he got through it well.

“I usually give no instructions, but I said to Joe today to forget the ground, don’t try to hold on to him, just ride a normal race.”

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