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Richard Johnson's Blog - 2/3 At Chepstow & Netball


24 January 2018

It was great to have two winners from just three rides at Chepstow last week. 

The first of them, Jammin Masters, was left clear at the last hurdle when Trixster came down.  I hope he’d have won anyway.  It would’ve been a close run thing but the way mine jumped the last, big, well and clean, suggested he wasn’t tired.  He likes jumping; every time he saw a hurdle he enjoyed it.  He’s a staying chaser of the future.  We’ll see him back at Chepstow in the future.   The track and the going suited him.

Similar things can be said about my other winner there, Back To The Thatch.  He relished the conditions.  It’s taken a couple of runs for him to get his jumping together, but he was good on Friday.  He’s won an Irish point-to-point, and as he’s only six he should improve further.   He stays, and has to go left-handed, so Chepstow is ideal.  He could well be a contender for a race like the Welsh National. 

I went up to Haydock on Saturday to ride Rock The Kasbah in the Peter Marsh Chase.  He didn’t handle the ground, and I pulled him up.  He’s won on soft, but never on anything as heavy as it was there.  We knew we were taking a chance running him on it, but it didn’t come off.  We’ll probably go straight to Cheltenham now for the three mile handicap chase. 

Exeter’s abandonment on Wednesday morning meant I was able to spend some time with the family and go and watch my daughter play in a netball match.  Hopefully I’ll be at Warwick on Thursday and Huntingdon possibly on Friday but with so much rain around we’re very much in the lap of the gods.  It’s frustrating for trainers and jockeys as we can’t make firm plans beyond the next day or so.  I tell myself it can’t rain forever.

It was horrendously sad news about Richard Woollacott’s sudden death.  I've known him since his point-to-point days and he was a trainer who worked very hard and did the job well.  He was a lovely fellow to be around and always good fun.  My thoughts are with his family.  I've been lucky to have a couple of nice winners for him, Beer Goggles being one of them last month.  He is engaged to run at Cheltenham on Saturday and has a very decent chance based on his Newbury win.  It will be a very emotional day. 

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