A RACING yard established in 1987 is set to celebrate its owner gaining the record for most winning trainer.

Middleham-based trainer Mark Johnston is getting ever-closer to breaking Sir Richard Hannon’s record of 4,194 winner, and could reach the target within the next week.

Mr Johnston told Great British Racing: "It means a lot. I’ve always been happy to accept that the trainers’ championship is decided on prize-money, even though I think I would have been 12-times champion if it was decided on winners.

"Quality arguably matters more than quantity, too, but there is no getting away from it that all owners - big and small - are in this for winning."

His first winner was Hinari Video in 1987 and would go on to run in another 126 races. Despite being of limited ability, he would also win 11 more races.

The Johnstons moved to Middleham in 1988, buying Kingsley House. The yard boast facilities including three separate grass gallops; an all-weather Tapeta gallop; an equine swimming pool; five lunging rings; weighbridges and starting stalls.

There are also numerous turn-out paddocks among the 270 acres of land.

His son Charlie, vet and assistant trainer, has recently been named in a list of rising stars in the industry by private bookmakers Fitzdares.

He said: "It is very nice to be recognised and hopefully I will have a successful career in racing, but it can't affect your ego – you still have to be up with the horses every morning.

"We set targets for our winners each year and knew we would be on course for dad to take the record."