Champion Jockey Richard Johnson took 48 hours off the track to attend to an injury but was back with a bang on Thursday landing a hat trick at Ludlow.
Johnson is looking to take his fourth consecutive title since A P McCoy retired from the sport back in 2015 and his fall at Fontwell on Monday could have been a lot worse than what it was for the experienced jockey, when his horse unseated him at the start of the race leaving him badly bruised.
He missed the two remaining rides on that card and then also missed his rides at Newcastle on the Tuesday and Newbury on the Wednesday but was back into the thick of things on Thursday at Ludlow to land the three timer.
His first winner of the day came in the first race of the day where he managed to get the Martin Keighley trained five year old Back On The Lash up to win in a three way photo finish in which the other two horses dead heated for second.
(Credit At The Races) Keighley said: “He won his bumper around there, so he obviously likes it, but his mare stayed three miles and was very tough so we’ll be stepping him up in trip.
“He’s a nice horse to look forward to. He wouldn’t want really soft ground, so we’ve been lucky at this time of year to get decent ground.”
He added: “We’ll see the best of him in the spring, hopefully, but the owner is abroad at the moment so we’ll make a plan when he gets back. He’s got a bright future.”
Keighley is a huge fan of the jockeys' horsemanship but was obviously not pleased when the rider landed the treble with favourite Rapper, going on to beat the trainers horse Reve who finished back in second.
“It was a fantastic ride for Richard and then of course he went and won the next two, but I’d rather he hadn’t won on Rapper!” said Keighley.
“I thought Reve was going to get back up, but it wasn’t to be.”
Keighley was also represented in the middle leg of Johnson’s winners, the EBF/Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Mares’ Novices’ Chase, which he won on Little Miss Poet for trainer Phillip Hobbs.