CHAMPION jockey Richard Johnson’s decision to head to Wetherby, rather than the major meetings at Warwick and Kempton, paid off with a 196-1 four-timer.
Wins on Noble Robin, Hogan’s height, Westend Story and Newberry New took Johnson’s tally to the season to 120 victories and left him 20 clear of his closest pursuer Harry Skelton.
Showing no ill effects from the concussion and injuries sustained at Wetherby on Boxing Day, Johnson said: “I can’t remember the last four-timer I had, but I know they don’t come around too often.”
Johnson did not have a ride in the feature £20,000 chase won by dual Grand National-winning jockey Leighton Aspell aboard Positively Dylan who is trained in Wales by Evan Williams.
Micky Hammond’s Castleford Chase winner Just Cameron was fourth. Top weight was a burden for the veteran who is likely to step up in trip at Wetherby’s next meeting on February 3.
James Moffatt’s stable star Highland Lodge, third in last month’s Becher Chase at Aintree, is set to reappear in Haydock’s Peter Marsh Chase on Saturday. Henry Brooke’s mount could then be targeted at the Topham Chase at April’s Grand National meeting.
Brian Ellsion’s Definitly Red is on course to appear in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday week. Connections want to see if the horse can handle Cheltenham before a tilt at the Gold Cup in March.
North Yorkshire conditional Tommy Dowson, attached to Phil Kirby’s yard, faces six weeks out after breaking his collarbone at Sedgefield last week.