Mark Johnston, the most successful trainer in British racing history, has defended premierisation and hit out at critics of the controversial policy. Thirsk chief executive James Sanderson is among those who have attacked the initiative, under which some fixtures would be shunted out of a 2pm to 4pm window in order to declutter Saturday afternoons. He claimed it could remove £300,000 from his annual budget and hinted that independent courses could mount a legal challenge against it. However, Johnston, who sent out more than 5,000 winners before handing over the licence at Kingsley House in Middleham solely to his son Charlie this year, feels action had to be taken as he believes there is too much racing. Read award-winning journalism from the best writers in racing, with exclusive news, interviews, columns, investigations, stable tours and subscriber-only emails.