sport

Johnston targets record total

Middleham trainer Mark Johnston is out to top his best previous annual tally after sending out his 216th winner on Saturday.

Johnston set that standard back in 2009 and with two days left in 2013, he is eager to surpass that mark.

He saddles Favourite Treat in the Ladbrokes Handicap at Lingfield on Monday, while Outbacker runs in the 32Red.com Median Auction Maiden at Lingfield on Tuesday.

Speaking from New Zealand, where he is on a working holiday, Johnston said: "Outbacker on Tuesday would have a good chance, even though I have not seen the declared runners.

"Setting and chasing records are not the most important things in the world and we would not run horses just for the sake of achieving them.

"But I am proud of the consistency we have shown and was delighted to pass the 200-winner mark again earlier this year (for fourth time in the last five years).

"It is all back to zero from January 1 and we will work hard to bring in the winners again."

Johnston scored with Jalingo at Lingfield on Saturday while Galician also claimed the 19,000 Ladbrokes Handicap at the track.

Galician, a four-year-old grey filly by Redoute's Choice, had finished second or third in three Listed events on the all-weather since October 31 and gained reward for her consistency by taking the valuable mile handicap.

Johnston said: "Galician is remarkable as you don't see horses running at that level so often - 26 times in 2013 - and she is better now than at the start of the year.

"The original plan was for her to go to stud next year and she will probably still do so but we are likely to keep her going for a bit longer on the all-weather as we would like to win a black type race.

"The decision will be made by her owner Sheikh Hamdan (bin Mohammed Al Maktoum).

"I am in New Zealand for two weeks - I have seen some racing, stud farms and vet work and it has all been very interesting."