On the record: Mark Johnston, Mel Stute, Pink Lloyd and more …

• The week’s significant milestones

Horse Racing Mark Johnston
Always trying: Mark Johnston reached the century mark for the 27th time last week.
Photo: Highclere

27 Mark Johnston

GB: Such is the everyday excellence of record-breaking trainer Mark Johnston that it can be easy to take his exploits for granted. 

As such, it must be noted here that last Tuesday [August 11] Britain’s winningmost trainer reached the 100-winner mark for this coronavirus-interrupted season when two-year-old Run This Way scored at Haydock under Joe Fanning.

Having become the first Flat trainer to send out more than 200 winners in a season (2009) – a feat he has repeated eight times – Johnston has now reached three figures for 27 consecutive seasons. He first topped the century with 117 in 1994.

Johnston broke the record for career victories in Britain when Poet’s Society became his 4,194th winner at the York Ebor meeting on August 23, 2018.


93 Mel Stute

USA: The Californian racing community was in mourning last week following the death of a hugely popular figure in former trainer Mel Stute.

Stute, who won his first race at Portland Meadows in 1947, trained champion three-year-old Snow Chief to win the Preakness in 1986 and also won Breeders’ Cup races with Brave Raj and Very Subtle. 

A mainstay on the southern California circuit for decades, Stute was well known for liking a cocktail and a bet. He had celebrated his 93rd birthday the previous weekend before dying in his sleep on Wednesday [August 12] morning in Del Mar.


25 Pink Lloyd

Canada: Pink Lloyd, a standing dish in sprints at Woodbine, recorded his 25th career success in the G3 Bold Venture on a stakes-filled card at the Toronto track on Saturday [August 16].

A multiple Sovereign Award winner, the eight-year-old gelding has won no fewer than 22 stakes races during his long career. 

“I’m in this game a long time and there will never be another horse like him,” commented veteran trainer Robert Tiller. “I just cannot believe a horse could stay this good in every season of the year and keep winning. He’s a blessing.” 

Jockey Rafael Hernandez enjoyed a stakes hat-trick on the card, also winning the G2 King Edward VI Stakes with March To The Arch and the Plate Trial with Clayton.


300 He Knows No Fear

Ireland: He Knows No Fear, a three-year-old trained by Luke Comer, earned headlines on both side of the Irish Sea on Thursday [August 13] when he became the longest-priced winner since records have been kept in Britain and Ireland.

Ridden by Chris Hayes, the colt was returned at 300-1 as he won a maiden at Leopardstown, beating the previous record mark of 250-1 returned by maiden hurdler Equinoctial at Kelso in 1990.

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