Trainer who farms Epsom race goes for fifth successive win with rank outsider

Mark Johnston - Royal Ascot

No trainer can farm a race like Mark Johnston can, that is for sure. We see him win the same handicaps year after year, particularly at Glorious Goodwood which is just one example.

The trainer based in Middleham is the leading trainer at Epsom Racecourse in the last five years with 17 winners from 101 runners. That is a very healthy 17 per cent strike-rate and the next best is Andrew Balding with 11 winners and a 14 per cent return.

Johnston has won the Jim Ferguson Memorial EBF Maiden Stakes the last four years in a row. In 2016 he won the race with Star Of The East (11-4), 2017 with Lynwood Gold (4-1), 2018 with Cape Islay (7-2) and 2019 with Gold Souk (5-2). The race was not run in 2020 due to Covid-19.

He also won the race in 2012 with Royal Skies (7-2) and none of these horses went off favourite. With that in mind, let us take a look at his 2021 runner below.


2.15 Epsom

Only three runners go to post for this maiden over the extended mile but Herbertandflorence is likely to open up a decent price. Of the three runners he has a lot of work to do if the form book is to be believed. He ran well at Musselburgh when third on debut over 7f but failed to build on that next time out.

His run at York could probably be forgiven. It was a very hot race and although he finished 15th of the 16 runners, this is so much easier. This race is a contest that Johnston has farmed throughout the years so he may well have been saving him for this. Johnston’s runners are impossible to predict and it would be no shock if we saw a much better horse on Tuesday.


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