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Richard Johnson: The New One is the one to beat

15 Dec | BY Richard Johnson | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Johnson: The New One is the one to beat

In his exclusive column, the champion jockey assesses his rides at Cheltenham on Saturday and Southwell on Sunday.

It’s great to be back racing after all the snow we’ve had and I’m looking forward to some nice rides this weekend who look to have decent chances.

Cheltenham on Saturday

It’s bound to be testing at Cheltenham and that should suit The New One in the International Hurdle (3.05pm).

I was all set to ride him until Sam [Twiston-Davies] passed a late fitness test on Friday.

It’s certainly a shame not to get the ride but it’s obviously great to have Sam back in the saddle again.

The New One has been an absolute star and a total credit to his connections, and is going for his fourth win in this race. 

He put up a fantastic performance last time in the Greatwood off top weight. He comes here in good form and I think he will go very close.

He beat My Tent Or Yours here last season in similar conditions to what he’ll face on Saturday and is still in great form now.

You’ve also got to respect Melon, who is unexposed and is probably still improving. You should always take note when Willie Mullins sends a horse over to England.

But on ratings The New One is the one they’ve all got to beat.

I also ride Knockgraffon {ODDS:220634553:SP} for Olly Murphy in the handicap chase (1.20pm).

Ollie has had a great start to his training career, and Knockgraffon was a decent horse for Dan Skelton before moving to him. He’s off a competitive mark and should run well.

My final ride of the day is Copper Kay {ODDS:220634570:SP} in the mares’ handicap hurdle (3.40pm).

She’s a very classy mare with good form from last year. She definitely didn’t show her true running at Wincanton last time.

She comes here with a decent chance in a very competitive race and hopefully she can bounce back with a good run.

Southwell on Sunday

I ride Article Fifty in the maiden hurdle (1.30pm) for Warren Greatrex.

He won a bumper at Uttoxeter last time and, having won a point-to-point in the past, he should go well and looks to have strong claims.

My other ride of the day is Beyeh for Mick Appleby in the mares’ handicap hurdle (2.35pm).

Hopefully she runs well in a competitive mares’ race. On her day she’d have a good chance of winning this.

Peterborough Chase

Top Notch put up a very good performance on Thursday and he looks to be a chaser going places. He’s another exciting horse for Nicky Henderson.

It was great for Taunton to be able to stage such a big race and it’s fantastic for the smaller tracks to get the recognition they deserve.

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Richard Johnson

Four-time champion jump jockey who is second on the all-time list for most National Hunt winners in the UK.

Richard Johnson

Four-time champion jump jockey who is second on the all-time list for most National Hunt winners in the UK.