Hats off: Martin Pipe pays tribute as Mark Johnston claims new record
Martin Pipe has paid tribute to Mark Johnston, who has beaten his record for the most wins in a British season, Flat or jumps.
Johnston sent out his 244th Flat winner of 2019 when Dark Regard scored at Southwell on Monday, and added his 245th at Chelmsford 24 hours later when Bavardages won the nursery.
Pipe, who trained 243 winners during the 1999-2000 jumps season, jokingly threatened to come out of retirement on Tuesday to see if he could get the record back.
The 15-time champion jumps trainer said: “It’s a fantastic achievement by Mark. Congratulations to him. It takes good organisation, good horses, good jockeys, good team work and plenty of hard work. I might have to come out of retirement to try and get that record back!”
Victory for Bavardages meant Johnston has won 245 races on the Flat in Britain this year, in addition to the German 1,000 Guineas.
However, Johnston has yet to beat Pipe's overall record of 253 wins in Britain in a calendar year, comprising 240 over jumps and 13 on the Flat in 1999.
Johnston’s latest landmark comes towards the end of what has been an incredible last two years for the Middleham stable.
He broke the record for the most winners on the Flat in Britain in a calendar year when the aforementioned Bavardages became his 236th winner of 2019 with victory at Kempton last month.
In doing so, Johnston relegated previous joint-record holders Richard Hannon snr and Richard Fahey to second place.
Johnston became British racing's winningmost trainer with his 4,194th career winner when Poet's Society won at York in August 2018.
Most prolific training seasons in Britain
245 Mark Johnston (Flat 2019)
243 Martin Pipe (jumps 1999-2000)
235 Martin Pipe (jumps 2001-02)
235 Richard Hannon snr (Flat 2013)
235 Richard Fahey (Flat 2015)
230 Martin Pipe (jumps 1990-91)
226 Mark Johnston (Flat 2018)
224 Martin Pipe (jumps 1989-90)
224 Martin Pipe (jumps 1991-92)
218 Richard Hannon snr (Flat 2011)
218 Richard Hannon snr (Flat 2012)
*World record: 650 by Steve Asmussen (2009)
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