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Richard Johnson: I’ve no intention of quitting if I’m crowned champion

19 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Johnson: I’ve no intention of quitting if I’m crowned champion

In his exclusive column, the National Hunt jockey and Betway ambassador discusses future targets after riding his 100th winner of the season

I was really touched by all the kind messages I received on Friday after riding my 100th winner of the campaign.

It was special to reach such an important landmark around six weeks earlier than I might normally expect – it’s usually a milestone I hit around Christmas time.

AP showed us all how important it is to go out and dominate from the front if you want to be crowned champion jockey and creating a small buffer of 30 to 40 winners is an important part of that.

Not only is that little gulf demoralising for those chasing me, it also provides me with a little cushion should there be any mishaps.

I’m often asked whether I have a target in mind for the season, and the honest answer is no.

If there is a landmark I’m aiming it, I suppose it must be 200 winners as I’ve never ridden that many in a campaign before.

If I can hit that mark, which would incidentally take me through the 3000-winner mark, too, then there’s a very good chance I’ll be crowned champion.

Looking beyond that, people have asked me whether I’ll quit if I do secure the championship and the answer to that is no.

I’ve genuinely no intention of hanging up my riding boots if I’m lucky enough to be crowned champion.

I ride for great people, feel in great shape and as long as I’m still enjoying what I do, I’m going to carry on riding.

The last few days were a bit frustrating to be honest, but I was delighted that Braavos did what I hoped he might do in the bumper at Market Rasen.

He’s an exciting prospect and one to keep an eye out for when he’s sent over hurdles.

I was also really pleased with the way that Golden Doyen ran even though he got beaten.

It’s important to remember that he’s only a four-year-old and, as he’s a burly little horse, I expect plenty of improvement from him.

It rode like a pretty decent novices’ chase and reckon that all three of the leading protagonists will turn out to be useful recruits to fences.

It was good to see The New One back in action at Kempton on Sunday and it makes a change seeing a star name back in action rather than being ruled out for the season.

Every day over the last few weeks I keep reading of another big name sidelined by injury.

As an observer, he seemed to settle better and you must consider that horses often become less flamboyant with age.

He won the Neptune at Cheltenham a few years ago so won’t have any problems with a step up in trip. Connections have plenty of options open to them.

Finally, the majority of trainers will be doing a rain dance ahead of Cheltenham at the end of the week.

I was hoping that Garde La Victoire might make his chasing debut there on Friday but he’ll need the heavens to open if he’s to take his chance.

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