Richard Johnson's Blog - Chepstow & Leopardstown


07 February 2018

Riding a double at Chepstow last Friday was very satisfying. They both needed quite a bit of encouragement, but they are proper stayers, which is what you need there, especially on soft or heavy going.  Thomas Patrick got a bit outpaced, but he jumps well and stays.  The further the better for Rock My Style, for whom chasing will be his job.  That was my second double in a row there, which is a trend it would be nice to continue!

It had been arranged the day before that I would go to Leopardstown on Saturday to ride at the new Dublin Racing Festival.  Barry Geraghty was committed to partner the Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air for J P McManus at Sandown, so I came in for the mount on J P’s Defi Du Seuil in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Unfortunately Defi didn’t run very well for the second time in a row, and we are in the dark as to what’s the matter.  He’s going to get a full MOT so that we can try and get to the bottom of it..

There may not have been many British runners in Ireland – perhaps trainers think the Irish horses are better! – but the plane from Liverpool to Dublin was full of racegoers.  It was a big draw for British racing fans and it looks like being a great success.

I came back to ride at Taunton on Sunday, but took a fall that left me with a swollen knee.  As a result of that I couldn’t ride on Monday.  I was all right on Tuesday but thanks to the weather I had another day off.   Racing was abandoned again today (Wednesday) so I have been able to do some work on the farm and go for some physiotherapy.  I’ll be back in the saddle at Huntingdon tomorrow. 

Looking ahead to the weekend, Native River makes his seasonal reappearance in the Denman Chase at Newbury and I hope he gives me as good a ride as I had with him when winning the Welsh National at the end of 2016.

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