The champion’s quartet! Richard Johnson’s career highlights
In Richard Johnson, racing has a champion fit to take over the reins from Sir Anthony McCoy as Champion Jump Jockey.
Runner-up in the pursuit of Jump racing’s ultimate riding crown 16 times, Dickie will be presented with a brand new trophy at Sandown Park for his incredible achievements in the saddle this season.
We take a look back at his four key career successes – all at the Cheltenham Festival.
Anzum – 1999 Stayers’ Hurdle
Not bad to have your first Cheltenham Festival winner in the Stayers’ Hurdle, is it?
Richard Johnson – already recognised as a more than competent rider at this stage of his riding career – demonstrated exceptional timing combined with a great will to win to get up on the line from nowhere.
Honestly, we know it is nearly eight minutes long, but this is riding at its very finest.
Take a bow, Dickie!
Looks Like Trouble – 2000 Cheltenham Gold Cup
This was a sterling era for staying chasers, with the likes of Florida Pearl and See More Business – two giants of the game – in contention for one of Jumps racing’s most prestigious prizes.
In the Millennium Gold Cup, it was Johnson on the aptly-named Looks like Trouble that proved too strong.
Pulling clear of Florida Pearl up the hill, the Noel Chance-trained star landed the Festival showpiece in battling fashion to enter the young rider’s name into racing’s history books.
Flagship Uberalles – 2002 Queen Mother Champion Chase
If ever a rider summed up the riding capabilities of Richard Johnson, this typically was it.
Sent off the well-backed favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Flagship Uberalles was in trouble with more than half a circuit to go, but this didn’t stop the man in the saddle from encouraging his ride home.
Relentlessly urging Philip Hobbs’ star chaser into the race when all seemed lost, his mount finally responded with a brilliant rally in the closing stages to the delight of racegoers.
Rooster Booster – 2003 Champion Hurdle
Rooster Booster’s Champion Hurdle triumph is arguably one of the classiest performances in recent Cheltenham Festival history.
The competitive opening day Festival feature is the test of speed and agility in the thoroughbred. If you thought Annie Power was impressive this season, take a look at how Hobbs’ star obliterates his rivals with ease back in 2003.
He showed that his previous year’s County Hurdle triumph was no fluke…