Richard Johnson: Why this week's snow isn't a disaster
The champion jockey reflects on his 150th win of the season, and reveals what he's been up to during a weather-affected week.
150 on the board
It was great to get my 150th winner of the season at Ayr on Monday. It’s a nice mark to get to and hopefully we can push on now. It would be lovely to get to 200, but realistically that might be a bit optimistic.
Considering Philip Hobbs has had a relatively quiet season by his standards, we’ve done well to get to that number.
As always, I have to thank Dave Roberts and all the trainers and owners that have supported us.
Snow snow go away
It’s been a very quiet week. I haven’t been to visit any yards as there isn’t much you can do with the horses when the weather is like this.
You often think the forecast isn’t going to be as bad as they say, but, with these storms, it has been.
A few of the other jockeys went skiing and in hindsight we should have got a flight and gone to the slopes for a few days.
Fiona and the kids have been for the last couple of years, but unfortunately normally my job is the wrong time of year for skiing.
Busy on the farm
There’s been plenty of things to do on the farm, though. The water pipes have frozen so we’ve had to find other ways of making sure the animals have got water to drink.
We’ve been moving a couple of broodmares around to be nearer to the house, as they’re due in the next few weeks.
When you first see the snow you think it’s great, especially for the kids, but it brings its share of problems. We did manage to go sledging on Friday at least.
We’ve got horses, cattle and sheep on the farm, the poor sheep came to us from the Welsh hills to avoid the bad weather! They’re pretty hardy, though.
It’s the horses we have to keep an eye on the most, making sure they’ve got food and water.
No disaster for trainers
It’s obviously a frustrating time for both jockeys and trainers, but the horses are fit for Cheltenham now and having a couple of days off makes little difference. It’s certainly not a disaster.
They might have done a piece of work and a schooling session this week, but the trainers can work around that and they knew the weather was coming.
Hopefully the weather is going to warm up on Saturday and Sunday and we can get back to racing as early as possible next week.
I’ll be going down to Philip’s and Warren’s Greatrex at some point to school some of the Cheltenham horses and let’s hope they’re all in good form.
I’ll update you on Monday with some of the rides I’m most looking forward to at the Festival. Stay warm and safe!