5th July 2021

Happy birthday to Brian Palmer, described in the Racing Post today as ‘Mark Johnston’s first owner’. Close but not quite correct. Our first owner was Paul Venner of Baileys horse feeds, for whom we trained Mister Baileys to win the Guineas seven years later. Brian Palmer was the owner of Hinari Video, our first winner, and he, and his wife Val, became partners in our business from 1988 until 2000. Brian and Val are no longer involved in horseracing at all but remain our close friends. They now live at Leyburn just two miles from the yard.

When Brian broached the subject of a business partnership in 1988, he told me, ‘I can’t make you a better horse trainer than you are going to be, but I’ll move you on ten years’. He did exactly that.

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