Mark Johnston the record-breaker: Ten of the trainer's top triumphs

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Thu 23 Aug 2018
 Mark Johnston and Double Trigger at Royal Ascot in 1995 (FocusonRacing)
Mark Johnston and Double Trigger at Royal Ascot in 1995 (FocusonRacing)

Mark Johnston has now won more races than any other trainer after chalking up his 4,194th success with Poet's Society at York on Wednesday. So many wins, so many memories. Here are ten of the trainer's top triumphs.

April 30, 1994: MISTER BAILEYS

Race: Madagins 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket

Mister Baileys had won the Vintage Stakes and Royal Lodge Stakes as a two-year-old but was having his first start for nine months and went off at 16-1 in a field of 23.

Mister Baileys hit the front three out under Jason Weaver and then dug deep in the closing stages to repel Grand Lodge by a short head.

June 22, 1995: DOUBLE TRIGGER

Race: Gold Cup at Royal Ascot

 Double Trigger and Jason Weaver stretch out to win at Royal Ascot in 1995 (FocusOnRacing)
Double Trigger and Jason Weaver stretch out to win at Royal Ascot in 1995 (FocusOnRacing)

Double Trigger was an outstanding stayer who won no fewer than a dozen Group races for Johnston. One of his finest moments came at the Royal Meeting when, sent off at 9-4, he was sent straight into the lead by Weaver and galloped his rivals into submission and won by five lengths from Moonax. He was runner-up a year later and second again in 1998.

July 27, 1995: DOUBLE TRIGGER

Race: Goodwood Cup at Goodwood

A tremendously proud day for Johnston with Double Trigger beating his full brother, Double Eclipse, also trained by him, by a neck at the end of a pulsating contest. The siblings drew clear together from two out, Double Trigger worthy of all the plaudits as he was conceding 21lb. He went on to win the race twice more.

June 18, 1996: BIJOU D’INDE

Race: St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot

Bijou D’Inde had finished a close third in the 2,000 Guineas before having a troubled preparation and finishing fourth in the Irish equivalent.

He went off at 9-1 at the Royal Meeting but was back at his peak, when he made the running under Weaver.

He rallied gamely when collared in the final furlong by Ashkalini, the French 2,000 Guineas winner and favourite, and stuck on to win by a head.

June 23, 2000: FRUITS OF LOVE

Race: Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot

The globetrotting Fruits Of Love performed with distinction around the world but enjoyed his finest moments at the Royal Meeting - winning back-to-back renewals of the Hardwicke Stakes.

This second success, when partnered by Olivier Peslier, was extra sweet because Johnson also saddled the runner-up, Yavana’s Pace, who a couple of years later would make history by winning a Group One race in Cologne at the age of 10.

June 20, 2002: ROYAL REBEL

Race: Gold Cup at Royal Ascot

Royal Rebel had beaten Persian Punch by a head under Johnny Murtagh in the Gold Cup the previous year but was sent off 16-1 for his defence after several indolent displays in the build-up.

But Johnston horses can never be written off and, reunited with Murtagh for the first time in ten months, he was rejuvenated and prevailed by a neck at 16-1 from Irish challenger and 5-2 favourite Vinnie Roe.

May 2, 2004: ATTRACTION

Race: 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket

The filly with a flawed confirmation and ungainly action had been unbeaten in five starts as a two-year-old but had been absent ten months, having cracked a pedal bone in the interim.

Sent off at 11-2 under Kevin Darley, Attraction kept on gamely to win by half a length. Before her career was over she would win four more races at the highest level.

October 16, 2004: SHAMARDAL

Race: Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket

The big, powerful son of Giant’s Causeway was trained by Johnston as a two-year-old, before being switched to the yard of Saeed Bin Suroor. An eight-length winner on his debut at Ayr, he then won the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood easily before raising the bar in the Dewhurst - making all and winning by two and a half lengths easing down under Kevin Darley.

October 2, 2009: AWZAAN

Race: Shadwell Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket

The speedily-bred colt lined up at Headquarters unbeaten in three starts, having won the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury only a couple of weeks earlier.

Richard Hills hit the front on him about a furlong out and he kept on well to keep at bay Radiohead by three quarters of a length, with Showcasing and Poet’s Voice the next pair home.

September 26, 2015: LUMIERE

Race: Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket

The grey daughter of Shamardal had impressed when winning on her debut at Newmarket in July before finding one too good in the Lowther.

She had shown her inexperience at York but was much more professional upped to Group One company for the first time - breaking alertly, showing great speed and keeping on gamely to win by half a length under William Buick.

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