Village Vic won in an impressive, front running style and landed a 10/1 winning bet for my followers.
I had told them that carrying a light weight of only 10 stone on testing ground at Cheltenham was sure to help the 8 year old gelding. And so it proved.
And champion jump jockey elect, Richard Johnson, thought he should match the weight of the horse. Through a good amount of starvation, he got his own weight down to 10 stone so that he could ride the Philip Hobbs trained winner. Hobbs said of Johnson “He only gets himself down to that weight a couple of times a year.”
It proved to be a sacrifice worth making as Village Vic made all to win the Grade 3, Caspian Caviar Gold Cup by a margin of four and a half lengths. Stablemate Champagne West was second. Johnson had the choice of which horse to ride. He selected well.
For so many years Dickie Johnson has had to play second fiddle to AP McCoy when it came to the race to be named Champion National Hunt jockey. Now Johnson is so far ahead of the opposition I suggest the bookies may as well pay out the bets of those who had a bet on him to be named champ at the end of this season, on April 23rd.
Considered to be one of the nicest of men in the saddle, and both admired and respected by his fellow jockeys, Johnson has this season ridden more than twice as many winners as any jockey other than Aidan Coleman. With four months of the season remaining, and taking into account the number of winners his competitors have historically ridden in that period of time, he can’t be caught.
Richard Johnson has already surpassed eight of his previous nine totals. And Santa has not even saddled up his reindeer! As with the members of VG TIPS who won on Village Vic, Christmas has come early for the most likeable of jockeys.