The Key To Finding Winners Trained By Mark Johnston

Whenever a trainer steps their horse up in trip on the flat, it usually means one of two things. Either the trainer is running them over an unsuitable trip to keep their horses handicap mark low whilst having an opportunity to give them some more racing experience, it can also mean that the trainer is still unsure about the horses optimum trip and is still trying to find out; if it’s the latter reason, you can be pretty sure the horses are fit enough to do themselves justice, especially with a trainer like Mark Johnston who is someone that embraces new medicine and training techniques more than any other trainer I know of.

I’ve read on numerous occasions that Mark Johnstons’ horses were always worth checking out when being stepped up in trip, finally I have had the time to do the required research, I’d like to share my findings with you, it makes for very interesting reading. I tried to make the search as broad as possible, so my research covers both the flat and all weather surfaces, it details the results of horses stepping up in trip based on the race distance they tried last time out only. Some horses may have been stepped up in trip in the past, the remainder will have done this for the first time. This was a conscious decision on my part so the reader had as many opportunities to apply this research in the future.

I decided to group the data in such a way that could easily identify any patterns, initially I tested for horses stepping up to a mile having raced over 5 furlongs or 6 furlongs or 7 furlongs, I then tested in the same manner for the most common race distances up to 1 mile 6 furlongs, so the test related to horses stepping up to 1 mile 6 furlongs involved breaking the data down into horse that raced over 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 furlongs last time out. By the time I was finished, I had spotted a clear pattern and it was pretty much what I was expecting to see.

It turns out that Marks Johnstons’ horses are never more interesting than when they are stepping up in trip by more than one furlong; this makes sense to me as Mark would be more certain that the horse would benefit from a longer trip when they were being stepped up by more than a furlong. Horses being stepped up only a furlong were still interesting and in most cases they were showing a small profit, but it was clear that in nearly every case where the horse was being stepped up in trip by between 2 and 4 furlongs, his horses showed a very healthy profit.

Rather than combine all the research into one final figure, I’ve decided to publish small subsections of results that I believe make the most compelling reading; I feel the results would be less meaningful if I adopted my normal strategy of combining all the data together. When I write ROI, I’m referring to the return on your investment, there are 8 furlongs to 1 mile, I have rounded wins/runs and ROI percentages up or down so it’s easier to read. Here’s what I found: