Johnson has power to add

Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson
Markov and jockey Tom Bellamyon their way to victory. Picture: Fontwell Park

Honeyball hat-trick lights up Fontwell

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Richard Johnson will continue the defence of his leading Fontwell jockey title this afternoon.

England’s top National Hunt rider notched the most winners at the West Sussex track last year.

He took his tally to 10 this season when he claimed a double at the National Spirit Hurdle meeting at the end of last month.

And with a powerful book of rides on today’s seven-race card, he will be determined to add to that tally once more.

‘Fontwell is being good to me at the minute,’ said Johnson, who is a perennial runner-up to Tony McCoy in the overall champion jockey stakes.

‘I think I was leading jockey around here last year and I’m doing okay again.

‘It all depends on the horses you ride, though.

‘I am very lucky that Tim Vaughan brings a lot of horses down here and Philip (Hobbs) has a few here that do well.

‘Long may that luck continue, as this is a great course – especially when the sun is out like it was on National Spirit Hurdle day.’

Vaughan and Hobbs have once again teamed up to supply Johnson with three eye-catching rides at Fontwell this afternoon.

Danandy returns to the track where he made a successful bumper debut in January.

Recruited from Irish points, the five-year-old son of Cloudings was a decent second on his hurdles bow at Ludlow.

And if the Hobbs inmate reproduces that form, he can be expected to go one better in the Betfair Brings You Better Value Novices’ Hurdle (3pm).

Vaughan will give Johnson the leg-up on the 88-rated Whatshallwedo in the Read Nicholls And McCain On Betfair Handicap Chase (2.30pm).

And then Ballymoat will complete his book in the Better Prices On Betfair Mobile bumper (5pm)

Another who has been successful in Irish points, the five-year-old will be making his debut for Vaughan.

Tomorrow’s meeting is the track’s annual Cheltenham Festival preview event.

A star-studded cast will give punters some pointers ahead of next week’s four-day Festival in the Premier Grandstand prior to racing, which begins at 2pm.