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Monday, September 20, 2021

Richard Johnson wanting to contest Leger Legends occasion | Racing Information

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Former champion jockey Richard Johnson stated he couldn’t flip down the prospect to assist increase funds for racing charities by getting concerned on this yr’s Mondialiste Leger Legends Categorized Stakes at Doncaster.

Johnson retired solely in April after a profession which noticed him journey extra winners over jumps than some other jockey bar Sir Anthony McCoy – who gained the Legends race in 2015.

Amongst his big-race successes had been two Cheltenham Gold Cups, on Seems to be Like Hassle and Native River, a Champion Hurdle on Rooster Booster and a Queen Mom Champion Chase on Flagship Uberalles.

He rode his first winner in 1994, was champion conditional in 1995-96 and – having been the perennial runner-up to McCoy – was lastly champion jockey for the primary time in 2015-16, retaining the title for the next three seasons.

Former weighing-room colleague Barry Geraghty is one other massive identify to have already signed up for the race, which has grow to be a longtime attraction on the opening day of the St Leger Pageant on City Moor.

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It was first run in 2010 and has thus far raised greater than £1million for Jack Berry Home and the Northern Racing School.

“I feel I had a telephone name from Andrew Thornton (former jockey and one of many organisers) a few minutes after I introduced my retirement (again in April) at Newton Abbot!” stated Johnson.

“It will likely be good enjoyable and clearly the prospect to do one thing for the IJF, who’re near all our hearts – I could not flip it down. It is also an opportunity to see a few of the lads once more – it needs to be a superb day trip.

“We’ve got a variety of younger horses at residence, which is principally what I have been doing. I did go into Henry Daly’s the opposite day simply to have a spin, and that’s one thing I would do once more. I would go to a couple of my different {old} trainers, simply to attempt to get the physique again into some kind of form.

“It has solely been 5 months however it’s superb how rapidly your health leaves a bit to be desired. Hopefully I will not make a idiot of myself.

“My weight has been OK. I have not really been on the scales however fortunately I haven’t got to lose any weight – which is certainly a assist.”

Whereas Johnson has ridden many nice horses, none was over a mile or required to depart beginning stalls.

He added: “I will not have been as fast as they’re going to go for a very long time, although, and I will must ask a few of the lads for recommendation concerning the beginning stalls – as a result of it’s undoubtedly a very long time since I went by way of any of these.

“I feel I will simply be attempting to not make a idiot of myself. It will likely be a lot of enjoyable, and the chance to do one thing for the IJF means quite a bit.”

Different former jockeys concerned embody Sammy Jo Bell, who gained the race in 2019, and Noel Fehily.

Tables on the Leger Legends lunch will be booked by way of Sarah Wilding at swilding@brewsterpartners.co.uk.

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