1940, Philip was born in Meerut, India, the region high up in the Himalayas.
His interest ignited Philip as a child and led to his first visit to Newbury races when Philip was 6 years old.
1953, the Johnston family returned to Scotland where his father still kept some broodmares in a farm at Kelso, Roxburghshire.
After education at Winchester and later at Trinity College Dublin where Philip continued a deep interest in racing much to his housemaster’s concern!
Philip found Economics far too boring, he set off to gain himself a position in racing administration.
Firstly he learnt the fundamentals of handicapping.
CAREER in the EAST:
By that time, he had heard of the possibility of a position with the RHKJC to work with the Stipendiary Stewards, Handicapper; as well as being the assistant to the Stables Manager and Veterinary Surgeon, Dr Allan Auchnie.
1968 August, Philip joined the RHKJC when it was still an amateur club.
Howard Braham was the Chief Stipendiary Steward and Michael Boycott the Secretary of the Club.
1971, he took over as handicapper for the full season of the first year of professional racing.
1990, eventually joining the board of Management as the Director of Racing.
1998-06-14, Philip retired from HKJC.
CAREER in the WEST:
Philip left HKJC in 1998 after 30 years in the East to join the Curragh Bloodstock Agency (CBA) and Johnny McKeever who is the co-director and Chairman of McKeever Bloodstock (MBL).
Philip’s involvement in the following projects give him a special sense of satisfaction:
- the first import of Northern Hemisphere griffins to HK.
- the building of Sha Tin Racecourse.
- the International Sale.
- the staging of the first Invitation race.
Most memorable horses in HK:
Most memorable jockey in HK:
So many of the world’s best jockeys have ridden in HK that it is hard to pick a favorite but if forced to make a choice,
Philip would name Pat Eddery as the most exciting to watch.
Most memorable trainer in HK:
For Philip thought George Sofronoff was as good as anyone and George was such a lovely person.
Most memorable owner in HK:
Most memorable event in HK:
“Carpe diem ” or in other words “Grab the day and do your best.”