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Richard Johnson Blog - Cue Card & Gumball


19 April 2018

Although Aintree is over and the jockey’s championship is sewn up I’m not taking it easy. I have three hungry children to feed and there are good races to be won at Cheltenham, Ayr, Perth and Sandown in the next ten days. At last it looks like the weather is changing and I expect plenty of trainers will have good ground horses raring to go. Having said that, I don’t know what I’m going to ride in the Scottish National yet!

It was good to hear that Cue Card has been retired. What an amazing horse. I’ve never actually ridden him, but I’ve ridden against him many a time.  His class and longevity sets him apart from most other horses.  It is incredible that he hasn’t missed a season in eight years and has been running at the highest level during that time. I am sure he will have a very happy retirement. 

The Grand National meeting was as fun and as exciting as always. It was great to have winners in two big races there on top of what’s been a fantastic season. 

We won the bumper on Lalor at this meeting in 2017 and this time I thought he had a fair chance of being placed, but his Newbury run meant we couldn’t be confident. Happily he was back on song and won well. It was obviously an emotional occasion given that Richard Woollacott passed away only a few months ago. 

Thomas Patrick is a big strong horse and is probably only just coming into himself now. He needs soft ground to show his best, so he will be put away now and next season the Ladbroke Trophy at Newbury or the Welsh National will be options. We’ll see what the handicapper does.

We were very pleased with Gumball in the juvenile hurdle, where he finished second. He might run again as good ground suits him. The Swinton is a possibility.

Western Ryder didn’t get the trip on soft ground.  He could do well in a decent two mile handicap next season.

By winning the Betway Bowl Might Bite paid a big compliment to Native River. Let’s hope we’ll both be back at Cheltenham again next March and that the result is the same.

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