Four-time champion jockey Richard Johnson is set to get back in the saddle on Thursday after being off the track since January 21st after taking a nasty fall on his right arm at Exeter.
The veteran rider has had an illustrious career including numerous winners at the Cheltenham festival and it was touch an go whether he would be able to make this seasons greatest show on turf but he looks to be back with plenty of time to spare with there being two weeks to go until the festival.
He is looking to land his fifth consecutive jockeys title but will have to over come a deficit to Brian Hughes of 19 winners with his month off the track giving Hughes a clear chance to extend his advantage.
Johnson is now a best priced 8/1 to regain his title and although it looks very tough to do so, if there is one rider n the sport that can do it, its Richard Johnson.
After a consultation with British Horse-racing Authority doctor Jerry Hill on Monday afternoon, he had been given the go ahead to return to action and will get back to it at either Musselburgh or Ludlow.
(Credit At The Races) “I got the all-clear this afternoon, from the BHA doctor Jerry Hill,” Johnson said.
“Depending on what runs where, fingers crossed I’ll be back on Thursday.”
The rider will either be in Scotland for Olly Murphy, or over in Shropshire at Ludlow with his retained trainer Philip Hobbs set to have some runners on that card.
He added: “The first couple of days will be relatively quiet, to get back into it, and I’m looking forward to being back in the old routine.
“It is nice to have actually got the green light off the people you know you have to – and to hear they are happy I’m ready to get back to it, to resume normal service.
“Ten days or so before Cheltenham is a good time – if I’d only been able to come back the Friday before, it wouldn’t have been long to get into the routine again.”
Johnson would love to land the jockeys championship for the fifth time and will not give up on catching Hughes until the final day of the season.
“I’ll just be looking for that first winner back, to start with,” he said.
“Realistically, I know I’m still going to be up against it.“But there is that chance. So whether you are riding a 50-1 shot or going for the championship, as long you have that chance, I like to feel I have an opportunity.”