Richard Johnson: It's fantastic to win it again at Sandown
The champion jockey reflects on winning the title for a third consecutive year and also runs us through his final rides of the season.
Every season, my main aim is to win the jockey’s championship and to do it for a third time is fantastic.
Brian Hughes and Harry Skelton have both had great seasons again and obviously there are plenty of young guys coming through, making it very competitive.
It’s been another good season and while Philip Hobbs hasn’t had quite as good a time of it, I’ve been very lucky to have the support of lots of other people.
A lot of credit must go to Dave Roberts, who is always looking for the best places for me to go and the best people to ride for.
Tim Vaughan and Henry Daly have always been incredibly supportive and having Olly Murphy and Warren Greatrex this year has given me a massive boost.
Native River was obviously the major highlight, to win the Gold Cup again was fantastic. I’m already really looking forward to getting on him again next season.
Of the other horses I’ve ridden, Thomas Patrick is the one who towards the end of the season has shown he could be very good.
He looks like a horse that is more than capable of tackling some of the big prizes next year.
He’s only a six-year-old, but he’s got a similar profile to Native River and if he’s anywhere near has good as him, we’ve got plenty of exciting days to look forward to.
Lalor winning the Grade One at Aintree was another very poignant moment after the terrible news about Richard Woollacott earlier in the season.
It was fantastic for their connections to end the season on a high with a big winner.
Sandown on Saturday
The card at Sandown on Saturday is fantastic and I really would encourage people to come down to watch.
To see the likes of Altior will be a joy to watch and it will be a perfect way to cap off the jumps season.
I begin my rides with Show On The Road in the handicap hurdle (1.50pm).
He’s been very consistent so far this season and is improving with every run.
Philip Hobbs' horses have bounced back to form in the last 10 days, so hopefully he can go well in what looks a competitive handicap.
In the big race of the day, the bet365 Gold Cup (3.35pm), I ride Rock The Kasbah who should get ground more to his liking.
He hated the soft ground at Haydock in January so we’ve been waiting for some better ground and fingers crossed he gets it here.
The horse ran really well in the race last year so I’d like to think everything points to him running a big race.
My next ride is Boite for Warren Greatrex in the Select Hurdle (4.05pm).
He steps back in trip after running over 3m in the Pertemps at Cheltenham.
He was going really well when he fell at Haydock two starts ago and if he can reproduce that he should have a solid chance.
I’m then on War Sound in the 2m4f handicap chase (4.40pm) who is another of Philip’s who has run consistently all season.
He’s been knocking on the door on ground that’s probably been on the slow side for him.
I’m hoping the better ground will help him get his head in front - he deserves to on what he’s done this season.
My final ride of the season is on Wait For Me in the handicap hurdle (5.15pm).
Better ground is the key to him which he showed when winning this race last year.
A good, strongly run handicap should really suit him and the less rain, the better his chances.
I must admit, I thought it would take a small miracle for Willie Mullins to claw back the Irish trainers championship from Gordon Elliott.
The week he has had at Punchestown has been unbelievable. To have six winners out of seven races is quite incredible.
To see the likes of Faugheen running so well is great to see. He looked backed to his best and an in-form Faugheen is only good for National Hunt racing.
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