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Richard Johnson: Golden Doyen the reason I’m going to Market Rasen

16 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Johnson: Golden Doyen the reason I’m going to Market Rasen

In his exclusive column, the National Hunt jockey and Betway ambassador previews his full book of rides and also congratulates Silvestre De Sousa

All eyes will be on Ascot on Saturday for Champions Day, but I’m heading to Market Rasen for a full book of rides.

Before I talk about my chances, I wanted to pass on my warm congratulations to Silvestre De Sousa who will be crowned Flat Champion Jockey.

He has worked tirelessly for this and has travelled the length and breadth of the country, taking rides from Musselburgh to Brighton, to deservedly land the prize.


I’m on Tim Vaughan’s Bleu Et Noir for the first time in the maiden hurdle (2.05pm).

He ran really well on his debut when second in a bumper at Fontwell back in February, but hasn’t really gone on from that in two subsequent starts.

He makes his hurdling bow on Saturday and I’m optimistic as I know he’s strengthened up, been schooling well and is, importantly, straightforward. He should have a good each-way chance.

Oh Land Abloom only faces four rivals in the novices’ hurdle at 2.40pm and looks like one of my best chances over the weekend.

I’ve never sat on him before, but he’s a bit of a course specialist having never been out of the first two in four previous runs here.

Neil King has his team in really good order and I’m looking forward to the race.

If I’m honest, Golden Doyen is the main reason I’m at Market Rasen as he makes his chasing debut in what looks an above average novices’ chase (3.15pm).

He was a really good juvenile hurdler who somewhat lost his way after Christmas last year, but is in good form now and has schooled well.

He’s also straightforward and gets a handy stone allowance from the potentially smart Fox Norton.

Our biggest danger may turn out to be Dan Skelton’s Pain Au Chocolat who was useful over hurdles for Alan King last season.

Auvergnat has had a nice summer break and takes his chance in the competitive looking handicap chase (3.55pm).

The ground was very soft when he won his three races in France, so he’s one who could probably do with a drop of rain.

I don’t know too much about my mount Barton Rose for Neil Mulholland in the 4.25pm.

If you ignore her fall at Taunton back in March, she’s pretty consistent and should go well in what doesn’t look a great race.

The same can also be said about Bridal Suite. I ride him for the first time in the handicap hurdle (5.00pm).

He’s another reappearing after a summer break and if Charlie Mann has him in the form that saw him win at Fontwell back in March, he shouldn’t be too far away.

I’ve got a really decent chance in the finale (5.35pm) on Braavos.

He delighted us when only narrowly going down on his debut at Stratford back in March and I blame myself a bit for not finishing closer last time.

It was a slowly run affair at Exeter and, in hindsight, I should have made more use of him. He wasn’t beaten far that day and I expect him to go really well.

Malcolm Jefferson’s Dubai Angel looks the one to beat on paper, but hopefully we can make it third time lucky!


I’ve got some nice rides at Kempton on Sunday and it will be nice to see The New One back in action if he takes his chance.

The best of my chances may well be Midnight Shot for trainer Charlie Longsdon in the 3.20pm.

He’s won both of his hurdle starts in pretty facile fashion and, although this requires more, he’s definitely going in the right direction.

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