Paisley Park Among Trio Nominated For January Horse Of The Month Award

Features | 8th February 2022

Former Champion Jump Jockey Richard Johnson picks his the three nominations for the January's Horse of the month award. Vote below for your favourite...

Four-time Champion Jockey, Richard Johnson has selected three magnificent racehorses for Great British Racing’s Horse of the Month competition. 

To shine a spotlight on the amazing animals that power horseracing, each month the retired jockey scouts racecourses for big performances and future stars of the sport. 

January saw spectators treated to a host of memorable moments, with huge accomplishments from household names and rising stars aplenty.  

Vote for your choice below!

Tommy’s Oscar was voted your January Horse Of The Month with 51% of the vote! 

January’s Horse of the Month contenders

Prime Venture

Winner of the Unibet Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Sandown Park Racecourse 

Trainer: Evan Williams  

Jockey: Adam Wedge

Prime Venture was the worthy winner of the Unibet Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Sandown Park Racecourse, demonstrating the long-lasting talent of racehorses. The 11-year-old has been in training with Welsh-based trainer, Evan Williams, since 2016 and in January, enjoyed his first win for 14 months against other experienced horses on the track in expert style.  

Two jumps from home, Prime Venture owned the race and it was clear to see the horse knew he had things covered. 

Richard Johnson’s verdict: Prime Venture winning the competitive veteran’s race shows how the older horses of our sport have so much to give. He put on a great show, and it was brilliant to see him enjoying himself with an exciting win that he had in the bag with two fences to go.   

Paisley Park

Winner of the Welsh Marches Stallions at Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Trainer: Emma Lavelle

Jockey: Aidan Coleman

Paisley Park made an impressive return to the winner’s enclosure at Cheltenham in January. This was not the first time he has stolen the hearts of spectators. The 10-year-old is a true fan favourite, with notable career successes at Haydock Park, Ascot and Newbury alongside the iconic Cheltenham racecourse. 

Together Paisley Park and Aidan Coleman have shared nine victories, though arguably the win at Cheltenham in January was the most inspiring and memorable. The characterful racing star thought twice about jumping off at the start, giving his competitors a huge head start before somehow winding them back in and flying past them up the finish. 

The emotional welcome back into the winner’s enclosure from racegoers spoke volumes for his achievement and heart-warming contributions to the sport during his career so far. 

Richard Johnson’s verdict: “To watch him whip round at the start and give all the other horses a 10-15 length lead and then to see him come up the hill and win was phenomenal. To beat horses like Champ is nothing short of impressive. It shows what a great horse he is and that he is also a bit of a character!  

“Horses like this resonate with fans on a different level. This was amazing for Emma Lavelle’s team, and you could see after the race what an emotional and special win this was for Aidan Coleman as well.”   

Tommy’s Oscar

Winner of The New One Unibet Hurdle at Haydock Park Racecourse.

Trainer: Ann & Ian Hamilton

Jockey: Danny McMeniman

Haydock Park was lit with smiles from the Hamilton family when Tommy’s Oscar won the race with ease. Tommy’s Oscar is one of five horses trained by the Northumberland-based farmers and has shown great promise for his career ahead, particularly in the last three months.  

As well as the seven-year-old celebrating his fourth consecutive win, he bagged himself a spot up against Honeysuckle in the Cheltenham Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy during Cheltenham Festival. 

Richard Johnson’s verdict: “It is huge achievement to have a horse run in Grade 2 company, so to go on and win is remarkable. The up-and-coming horse put on a stellar performance and looks to be an exciting prospect for the future.”  

Remember to vote for your choice in the poll above!