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Mark Johnston Answers your Questions

Home Forums Archive Topics Celebrity Q&A’s Mark Johnston Answers your Questions

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    I have typed my answers after the questions below.

    Regards,<br>Mark. <br>[/b]<br>— Posted by Aidan on 10:27 pm on Feb. 7, 2001<br>How good is Down To The Woods–As good as his owner Steve Millar says??How far does he honestly think he will go and what will be his ideal distance?Thanks,oh and wish him good luck! <br>Very good. Hasn’t he already shown that? I don’t know how good Steve Miller says he is. As a two year old his ideal trip was 6 furlongs although he did get further if conditions were right. Now, who knows? He may stay further.

    — Posted by whiskyyankeedelta on 12:23 am on Feb. 8, 2001<br>I would like to thank Mark for the pleasure he has given me and a couple of my betting buddies over the years and long may his lum reek!  The question I would like to put to him is; why has he never used T.Quinn as a jockey? <br>I have done. If my memory serves me correctly he won the White Rose Stakes for us on Starstreak many years ago and I think he won on Paradise Garden last year (maybe 99). However, I do admit that I don’t use him all that often. Some jockeys click with a yard’s horses and others don’t and Richard has not been all that successful for me. They have to have confidence in the horses and they have to settle into the same style of running. Interestingly, while I think Pat Eddery is one of the greatest jockeys to have ridden in my lifetime, he has never ridden a winner for me. Also, until last year, Michael Kinane was disastrous on my horses then we clicked and he has an excellent strike rate for me now. This is often the case. For these reasons I think it is very foolish of owners to insist on a jockey that doesn’t regularly ride winners for the yard. You wouldn’t change the centre forward in a football team without making him train with the others players first, would you?  

    — Posted by Dave G on 12:43 am on Feb. 8, 2001<br>I would like to ask Mark if there was only one race he could win this year, which would it be, and why?  And also add my good luck to him and his stable for the coming season.  Dave G  <br>The King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes with Fruits of Love because I want to prove that he can do it and I won’t get another chance. (I don’t have a horse for the Dubai World Cup this year)  

    — Posted by michael on 1:40 am on Feb. 8, 2001<br>I would like to ask him if he had the choice of choosing Dettori, Fallon or Kinane to ride his horses which one would he choose. <br>Depends which horse your talking about and which jockey was in the best form at the time. I have no desire to retain any jockey for my whole string at present.  

    — Posted by stav on 2:01 am on Feb. 8, 2001<br>Mark, has Kashra been kept in training this year? I noted her last season when she was unlucky on more than one occasion, especially in the Portland, and I was wondering what her targets are. She seems best fresh and when covered up, is this right?  Cheers,  <br>She has just returned. You are probably right about her style of running but, in any event, she was below form last year.    

    — Posted by MarkEE on 8:26 am on Feb. 9, 2001<br>Mark,  If you could train any of the current crop of excellent three year olds in Britain and Ireland which would you choose excluding any you already train.  Thanks, <br>I don’t particularly follow other trainers horses.      

    — Posted by Daylight on 10:37 am on Feb. 9, 2001<br>Out of all the horses in your care, which one are you most excited about seeing on a race course this season and why?  <br>Littlepacepaddocks – If she makes anything like the improvement that her full brother did with age then the sky is the limit.  

    — Posted by pengamon on 11:09 am on Feb. 9, 2001<br>Mark I thought that Fruits of Love looked in great shape and was training well for the Breeders’ Cup Turf and he was my best each-way bet for the day- what went wrong? <br>I wish I knew.

    — Posted by Scoot on 4:32 pm on Feb. 9, 2001<br>Hello Sir! I would like to ask you what are  your Likes And Dislikes about American  Racing, Also have you ever had the chance  or would you ever consider going abroad to  try your hand at it? "Good Luck In The  Future"  <br>Likes <br>The prize money is far better than ours.<br>Trainers earn more. <br>The stalls are better. <br>Horses race longer despite what everyone says about the toughness of the tracks and the use of drugs. <br>They have a great system of conditions races and they are not reliant on handicaps. <br>Betting revenue is returned to racing in sufficient quantities to keep the show on the road.

    Dislikes. <br>The monotony of the tracks. <br>The lack of decent press coverage. <br>The standard of work riders at tracks. <br>The nomadic way of life. <br>The lack of grass. <br>I’ve never had the chance to go abroad and train but never say never.  

    — Posted by duncanlynch on 5:17 pm on Feb. 9, 2001<br>First of all may I say that Middleham Open Day is always  a well organised,and enjoyable experience.My question to Mark is- as a qualified vet as well as a trainer,do you  believe in,and use any form of complimentary treatments  (homeppathy etc)for your horses?  NO.  

    — Posted by Scottish Jamie on 9:49 pm on Feb. 9, 2001<br>If you were a breeder, taking into account their covering fees, would you send your mare to double trigger or double eclipse and why ? <br>Pass. I am a breeder, in a small way. I have two mares in USA. I am too biased to answer.  

    — Posted by Escorial on 12:37 am on Feb. 10, 2001<br>1)…..I sometimes sit and wonder how trainers like yourself feel, when you bring along a very good two year old, see it win the Chesham and them have it removed from your yard. I have heard Mick Channon being very diplomatic when asked the question,"how do you feel when you lose such a good horse?", and how highly do you rate Celtic Silence ?.  <br>It was a sensible commercial decision on which I was consulted. I’d love to train the horse now but I don’t lose any sleep over it. Faced with the same dilemma again, I would still advise the owner to sell. I think he may have been the best two year old I’ve ever trained but he was never fully tested on the track.  

    2)….what do you do to relax, what are your hobbies etc ?.  <br>I hardly ever relax. I go shooting about three days a year and I love mountain biking but rarely find the time.  

    3)….although you are amongst the best at what you do,do you think you would enjoy more success if you were to move to Newmarket, by attracting a different type of owner (is their a bias towards Newmarket trainers, when allocating the good horses)?  <br>There may be or have been a bias towards Newmarket trainers but I don’t care. I don’t want to train there.

    4)….if their was one thing you could change about racing, what would it be ?.  <br>The prize money in Britain.  

    5)….if you were an owner looking to buy your first horse, whose opinion would you seek, who would you ask to train it and which jockey would you like to ride it ?….besides yourself of course !  <br>I see this question on occasions in the racing post and I would decline if they asked me to answer it, never mind you. Besides myself, I can’t think of anyone and if I could I wouldn’t tell you.

    6)….hopefully it is a long way off but, what would you like to do when you retire from training ?.  <br>Have a farm and breed horses and cattle.  

    7)….who do you most admire in horse racing ?  <br>Deirdre Johnston

    8)….which football team do you support ?  <br>I don’t really, apart from Scotland of course, but I have been to see Manchester United a few times and I have the greatest admiration for the way Alex Ferguson runs that team.

    9)….what is the most you have ever paid for a horse and was it successful ?  <br>I paid 85,000 Guineas for Desert Deer (now 3yo) but he hasn’t run yet and I have paid up to $160,000 for yearlings this year ($160,000, $100,000 and 80,000 Gns being the most expensive this year) Previously I think Love Crown at 76,000 IR Gns was the dearest (useless) and Fruits of Love 75,000 IR Gns was next.  

    10)….looking at the other code, jump racing, what do you think has been responsible for the decline in the number of good hurdlers coming through. Every season, trainers are heard to comment that the horse they are running will be," better `chasers next season", and nothing seems to come through to challenge the likes of Istabraq. Even Monsignor, by far the best novice last season, if fit, would have gone chasing this season. Why the decline ?  <br>I suspect it is just because it is so much more competitive now but I haven’t really paid much attention.

    — Posted by Sharon Long on 12:16 pm on Feb. 12, 2001<br>With the terrible weather we’ve been having recently ,how are you coping getting your horses fit for the turf season?  <br>It hasn’t been a problem so far.

    — Posted by Plato on 2:18 pm on Feb. 12, 2001<br>Mark can you tell us why so many of your horses appear to stand up to much harder racing campaigns than most trainers horses do ?  Is it the type you buy or because you are a vet or why?  <br>It isn’t because of the type of horses I buy and it certainly isn’t because I’m a vet. You better ask the other trainers why they don’t run them more often.  <br>Would your methods work for National Hunt racing?If so would you like to train some jumpers for me?  <br>I see no reason why I couldn’t train jumpers but I don’t want to so long as I can continue to fill my yard with flat horses.  

    — Posted by MarkEE on 3:56 pm on Feb. 12, 2001<br>Another ‘quickie’ from me!!  Mark, MY favourite horse that you have trained is Mister Baileys. What is your personal favourite and why?  regards,   MarkEE <br>Branston Abby, Quick Ransom, Yavanna’s Pace, Gothenberg. They were never disappointing for longer than it took to walk from the unsaddling enclosure to the bar. By the time we got there we were planning the next race.  

    — Posted by basilreed on 6:15 pm on Feb. 12, 2001<br>is there any trainer you admire and if so why?  <br>Henry Cecil and Michael Stoute because they keep beating me. So far!  

    — Posted by budclub on 9:38 pm on Feb. 12, 2001<br>Put your neck on the line for us, Mark. Which is the one horse you have the highest hopes for this year?  good luck!  <br>Littlepacepaddocks

    — Posted by ALI on 9:49 pm on Feb. 13, 2001<br>I am interested to hear your views on Bouncing Bowdler, he ran some great races last year. His last race at Newbury you stepped him up to 6f and he ran his best race of the season. Will you try him over 7f or a mile this year and what grade do you think he will make.   All The Best For The Future  <br>We will probably try him over 7f and/or a mile because there are no attractive 6f targets early in the year. He is already a Group2 winner so I’ll be disappointed with anything less.  

    Dave G
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    Many congratulations on an excellent piece. Have you spoken to Mark about his feelings on the question and answers, would he  advise other trainers to try it?<br>Anyway, it is quite a coup, well done again.

    Dave G

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    Unfortunately he is under contract with thehorsesmouth to do similar work as this, I cannot see no reason why he would not recommend us to fellow trainers though.<br>Fingers crossed, there is a few a of us members trying rellentlessly to arrange the next Scoop (I’ll keep you all posted if there are any further developments) – at least we’ve already got Barry Dennis to do one too.

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    yes, well done Daylight and to Mark Johnston for taking the time.

    Brian H
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    Well, that was very good indeed.  An excellent job by whoever thought of the idea.  I wonder whether how many other racing figures would take the time?

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    yeah, nice one daylight..unfortunately i know way too little about flat racing to have embarrassed myself with questions but it made for interesting reading so thanks to you and to mark..

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    Daylight, i have just joined your forum the other day and i honestly thought my question for Mark was to late, thanks for forwarding it to him.<br>Mark Johnston on the racing forum, what a score that was. Keep up the good work.

    All The Best<br>ALI  

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    I will pass on all your best wishes to Mr Johnston on Sunday via email.

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