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Richard Johnson: Wishfull Dreaming is a really exciting prospect

06 Nov | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Johnson: Wishfull Dreaming is a really exciting prospect

In his exclusive column, the National Hunt jockey and Betway ambassador also explains why a horse he will ride this weekend is close to his heart

I’m doing this week’s blog from the car on my six-hour journey from home all the way up to Musselburgh where I’ve got some nice rides.

I’d be hopeful that both Brise Vendeene (1.30pm) and Village Vic (3.30pm) can make the trip worthwhile otherwise it will be a long journey home.

Incidentally, I have just read that my fellow Betway racing blogger Gary Moore got a nasty kick at home on Thursday.

It just shows the risks that all of us take in this sport of ours and I wish him a speedy recovery.


I kick-off Saturday at Wincanton with Wishfull Thinking’s full brother Wishfull Dreaming in the novice hurdle (12.20pm).

He schooled really nicely when I sat on him the other morning and would appear to have already learnt a lot from his debut win over hurdles at Worcester last month.

He really is an exciting long-term prospect but will have to step up again if he is to beat the likes of Paul Nicholls’ Marracudja.

Bertie Boru makes his seasonal reappearance in the Badger Ales Trophy (2.05pm) and goes well fresh, handles the likely soft ground and is a tough customer.

Philip Hobbs has done so well with this horse and his three wins last calendar year included a memorable one on Hennessy day at Newbury.

The reason I mention those three victories is that he may now be paying the price for those as he’s pretty high up in the handicap.

That said, with Philip’s team in such good form, I’m hopeful of a bold show.

Kayf Willow, who takes her chance in the Mares Handicap Hurdle (2.40pm), is a horse that is extremely close to my heart.

Not only did I breed her, she is also named after my daughter Willow so my heart may be ruling my head when I talk about her chances.

She handled the step up in trip and softer ground at Newton Abbot last time, so there are plenty of reasons to be positive.

If the forecast is correct, and Wincanton does get up to 20mm of rain between now and racing, then the one horse I ride on Saturday who will relish every drop is Melodic Rendezvous in the Elite Hurdle (3.15pm).

Jeremy Scott’s nine-year-old is 2-2 at the track, including an impressive win in the 2014 Kingwell Hurdle on heavy ground.

He is set to shoulder 11st 7lb on Saturday, so it will take a mighty performance to see off the likes of Zarib who has over a stone less in the saddle, but my fellow is classy on his day and I’m hopeful.

My final ride of the day is Vieux Lille in the bumper (3.50pm) and I slightly blame myself for his defeat at Haydock last April.

He’s been placed in all three starts, but I probably had him too far back in a slowly run race that day and we should have finished closer.

He is a lovely big horse who has done really well over the summer and I’m optimistic he’ll run well.


The pick of my Sunday rides is without doubt Golden Doyen in the Beginners’ Chase at Sandown (1.15pm).

He was second at Market Rasen last month on his chasing bow in what rode like an above average novice chase.

He’s sure to have learnt a lot from that experience and is another who won’t mind the rain.

Racing betting

READ: Richard Johnson: Garde La Victoire has a really exciting future over fences