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8 things you should know about Richard Johnson

05 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
8 things you should know about Richard Johnson

The leading jockey is Betway’s latest brand ambassador and will contribute a series of exclusive columns throughout the season

1. Early days

Richard was born on 21 July 1977 and grew up on an arable and cattle farm in Hereford.

He comes from a family with a rich background in rich horse racing. His father Keith was an amateur jockey while his mother Susan has a training permit.

2. Apprenticeship

He spent summers working at legendary trainer David Nicholson’s yard and joined ‘The Duke’ as an apprentice at the age of 16.

Peter Scudamore and Richard Dunwoody – are eight and three-time champion jockeys respectively – are two legends he greatly admires.

3. Immediate success

The 5ft 7in, 10-stone man has been one of the sport’s leading names ever since being crowned the Champion Conditional Jockey – awarded for the most National Hunt race wins in a season – at the age of 18 in 1995.

He also became the youngest jockey to record more than 100 wins in a season in 1996/97.

4. Cheltenham triumphsRJRichard is one of only three jockeys riding today – alongside Barry Geraghty and Ruby Walsh – to have won all four Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival.

He won the Stayers’ Hurdle on Anzum in 1999, the Gold Cup on Looks Like Trouble in 2000, the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Flagship Uberalles in 2002 and the Champion Hurdle on Rooster Booster in 2003.

5. Serial winner

Richard has currently ridden more than 2,900 winners – the second-highest ever by a jump jockey.

He reached 1000 on Quedex at Stratford in 2003 and hit 2000 on Fighting Chance at Newbury in 2009.

6. Grand National

Richard is the greatest jockey to have never won the £1m race.

In 19 attempts, his best finish is second – doing so twice on Whats Up Boys in 2002 and Balthazar King in 2014 respectively.

7. Relationships

Richard married Fiona – the daughter of Irish trainer Noel Chance – in 2007 and the couple have three children: Willow, Caspar and Percy.

The 38-year-old is Philip Hobbs’ stable jockey. He also rides a lot for, among others, Tim Vaughan, Peter Bowen, Ian Williams and Henry Daly.

8. Champion jockey?rj2Richard has finished runner-up to AP McCoy in the British Jump Jockeys’ Championship an astonishing 16 times.

Following the retirement of the Northern Irishman earlier this year, Richard is favourite to finally achieve his dream this season.

He is 1/12 with Betway to be crowned champion jockey for the first time in April 2016.

Richard’s twice-weekly exclusive column for the Betway Insider will be published every Friday and Monday.

He will give his thoughts on his rides and other high-profile horses and races, in addition to providing daily blogs during the Cheltenham and Grand National Festivals.

Follow Richard (@dickyjohnson77) on Twitter.