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Richard Johnson Blog - Banter & The Coming Season


04 August 2018

It’s been an eventful week for me with plenty of rides – and luckily winners - for different trainers, around the country. But both Harry Skelton and Bran Hughes have been booting home the winners too and there’s been plenty of banter in the weighing room about this year’s jumps jockey championship…which is strange…as we’re only in early August! 


The media have also been interested in my thoughts on the subject; especially how well Harry has started the season. But they seem to have discounted Brian Hughes’s chances of winning it. His association with Donald McCain means he will be riding plenty of winners and it’s been a great start for him too. Both Harry and Brian have real chances of taking my title – but although Harry’s got a few in from of me, and will be hard to peg back, I can assure everyone, I’m totally focused on keeping the trophy at home with me!  

It was nice to ride a few winners for Gordon Elliott at Perth earlier this week. I’ve ridden for him before of course, and when he brings a team over to England, Scotland or Wales he rarely goes home without a winner. Braid Blue took a Perth bumper and looks an interesting recruit for the Elliott stable – the horse is now 2 from 2 and is still a big baby but will improve. 

My main stable for winners over the years has been Phillip Hobbs and his horses don’t start rolling until October – with Chepstow’s jumps season opener the event at which we aim to introduce some of our better horses. But one horse who is more forward than the rest of the team has been Leapaway who has won three times since late May. 

Leapaway was one of many horses that just didn’t fire for our yard last season – and all connected with the Hobbs stable are hoping, and expecting, a much better season this time around. The successes of Leapaway might just be replicated by a few more who ran disappointingly last term.

Some of the more established yards are starting to prepare their horses for the coming season – with some of the big equine names coming back from their summer breaks and back into their racing stables. So, it was nice to ride out at Warren Greatrex’s this week. I sat on one who gave me a nice feel – a juvenile hurdler called Bodes Well who makes his hurdling debut tomorrow at Market Rasen and I’m looking forward to taking the ride. His schooling ‘bodes well’ for a big run tomorrow! 

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