Sunday 10 May 2020

13 Mark Johnston Two-Year-Olds to Follow in 2020

Sending out 200 winners in a season is an incredible achievement in itself but to repeat this fantastic accomplishment another eight times since 2009 is damn right ridiculous but Mark Johnston's incredibly high standards mean nothing is left to chance when training horses. The Middleham based trainer has excelled with his 2-year-olds over the years and last season(2019) was no different with plenty of talent on show including a couple of top-class fillies. 


A cheap purchase bought at the 2018 September Yearling Sales for 3,000 euros by Johnston Racing. The Kingsley Park 14 owners had a memorable year with the Make Believe bay filly when she won five times including finishing off the season with her best performances to date when taking the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes and also the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket and bringing her total prize money for the season to £115,483. 


Raffle Prize was no doubt one of the 2-year-old stars of the season for Mark Johnston and owner Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. The hombred chestnut filly won two group races and lost nothing in defeat when runner-up twice in group one races in what was an outstanding first season for the Slade Power filly. Total prize money of £255,887 for the season and an official rating of a 114 make her one I will be looking forward to this season. 

As for the new season I’m sure Mark’s 2-year-olds will be fit and raring to go after the lockdown and hopefully a couple of these could race at a higher grade. 

Now I’m no expert on pedigrees, to be honest, I have my own methods for trying to solve the puzzle of 2-year-old racing but I have tried to get my head around it in lockdown and have come up with these thirteen for the season ahead. At the end of the season, I will check to see if any make a higher grade or just plain average. 


Purchased for 140,000 gns for Hamdan Al Maktoum and is a full-brother to the 90 rated Gravity Flow who was trained by William Haggas and won four times at six furlongs in what was an excellent season as a 3-year-old. 


A full-sister to the Mark Johnston trained Rebel Assault who is also owned by Christine Budden & Partners. A first time winner at two and won the Listed Rockingham Stakes at York. 

3 - ALNAJEEB Sea The Stars Pretty Diamond 

Expensive purchase for Hamdan Al Maktoum when snapped up for 500,000 gns at the October Yearling Sales last year. The Sea The Stars chestnut colt was a 130,000 gns foal and is a half-brother to the Mark Johnston trained Vivid Diamond who has a rating of 105 after a consistent career to date. One of the highlights being the win in the Listed Chester Stakes last year and a great run to finish third in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster also last year. 

4 - ALBA ROSE Muhaarar Reckoning 

A 100,000 gns purchase at the Yearling Sales last year and owned by Dr J Walker who also has the 104 rated Austraian School in training with Mark Johnston and is a half-sister to Sir Ron Priestley. Dam Reckoning only had a short career but ran at a decent level when placed in a couple of Listed races. One offspring who improved with each race last year was Sir Ron Priestley who managed to finish the season with an official rating of 112 after winning five times.  

5 - KING FRANKEL Frankel You'll Be Mine 

This Frankel colt ticks a lot of boxes for the Johnston yard. Purchased for 280,000 gns at the Yearling Sales last October for owner Mr Mohammed Obaida and is a full-brother to Eminent who won the Craven Stakes and the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain as a 3-year-old for Martyn Meade. Dam You’ll Be Mine ran in some decent races for trainer Aidan O’Brien, a third in the Fillies Mile as a 2-year-old was one of the highlights. 

6 - FRAGRANT STORM Frankel Rose Bonheur 

This time it’s a Frankel filly that goes on the list who was purchased for 185,000 gns and is owned by Mr Mohammed Obaida. A half-sister to Nayef Road who won third time of asking as a 2-year-old and went on to win the Group 3 Great Voltigeur Stakes at Goodwood last season. Dam Rose Bonheur ran to a decent level for trainer Kevin Prendergast and finished her career with a rating of 106. 

7 - HARLEM SOUL Frankel Giants Play 

I do love a Frankel, this time we have Harlem Soul who was a 130,000 gns purchase by Johnston Racing. The Teme Valley 2 owned chestnut colt will have to be on top of his game to run at the same level as half-brother Ispolini who picked up some nice prizes in Meydan last year. 

8 - JUMEIRAH BEACH Exceed And Excel Dubai Sunrise 

Dam Dubai Sunrise was unraced but her offspring have done pretty well, the most notable is Dee Ex Bee who seems to get better with age and distance in what has been an excellent career. Jumeirah Beach is owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. 

9 - LOVE IS GOLDEN Golden Horn Holy Moon 

The Golden Horn bay colt was purchased for 175,000 gns and owned by Crone Stud Farms. Dam Holy Moon has produced some great performers over the years in Italy for trainer Stefano Botti, also the brilliant Sea Of Class who was trained by William Haggas and won the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks as a 3-year-old. 

10 - MARCH LAW Lawman Dookus 

A 58,000 purchase for owners Susan & John Waterworth. Dam Dookus was pretty disappointing in France but has produced a nice colt in the name of Frankuus who was trained by Mark Johnston in his early career before moving to David O’Meara. 

11 - MESHAKEL Shamardal Mehronissa 

First foal of dam Mehronissa but was an expensive purchase by David Redvers Bloodstock at the October Yearling Sales last year for a cool 500,000 gns and is owned by Mr Salem Rashid Bin Ghedayer . Mehronissa was an excellent filly for trainer Ed Vaughan finishing her career with a rating of 106. 

12 - MUTAZAWWED Muhaarar Muteela 

 Dam Muteela was a quality filly for Mark Johnston winning her only race as a 2-year-old back in 2013. The bay filly progressed as a 3-year-old and ended her career rated 111. Owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum. 

13 - POLAR FLEECE Frankel Lacily 

Half brother to the excellent Exceed and Excel colt Yalta who was trained by Mark Johnston who won the Molecomb Stakes as a 2-year-old. 

Dam Lacily never set the world alight but won on debut as a 2-year-old. 

Check out Mark Johnstons Stable tour 2020 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

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