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Ahead of one of the busiest periods of the racing calendar, our ambassador and leading National Hunt jockey Richard Johnson took part in a Q&A involving questions from our followers.

He answered questions on a variety of topics from his best Cheltenham Festival chance to his favourite biscuit and here is a full run-through of the responses he gave.

What’s the best horse you’ve ridden?

Very hard to narrow it down to one, but Native River has been very special to me. His Gold Cup win was a day I’ll always remember.

If you could ride one horse in one race that you have in the past, which would you relive and why?

Tough one. Probably Rooster Booster in the 2003 Champion Hurdle. I was getting run away with going down to the second-last!

How did you rate Captain Chris and Menorah?

Both were top class, and I was very lucky to be associated with them. We probably didn't get to see the best of Captain Chris either as he had problems with injury.

What do you typically have food wise on a race day?

I'm lucky in that my weight hasn't been too hard to control. I tend to eat what I want, just in moderation!

If you could ride any horse at the Cheltenham Festival who would it be and why?

I’d have to choose Native River. He felt really well the other day and it would be amazing to win another Gold Cup with him.

Native River Gold Cup

Will Native River stay in the Grand National? Assuming he’s not burdened with top weight.

I'm sure he'll be entered in the National, but the Gold Cup is Plan A and I’m very much looking forward to riding him. I think he’s got a very good chance.

What’s your favourite course?

I love my local tracks, Hereford and Ludlow, but Cheltenham has to be the best place to ride a winner.

Best chance of a Festival winner? (Other than Thyme Hill)

Defi Du Seuil. He seems really well at home and will hopefully head to the Champion Chase with a huge chance.

Best chance of a winner over the Christmas period?

I would say Gumball is about my best ride, but he's got to beat Shishkin which won’t be easy. Kalooki is another top novice who I'm really looking forward to riding again.

Would you rather win the National or break AP’s record for number of winners?

That’s an easy one – it would be amazing to break AP’s record.

In your career, which win meant the most to you and for what reason?

Obviously the Gold Cup aboard Native River was a dream come true, but I think my first ever Cheltenham winner, Anzum in the 1999 Stayers' Hurdle, possibly meant the most.

Who would you ride in the King George and the Savills Chase over Christmas, if you had the choice?

King George – Clan Des Obeaux. Savills Chase – Presenting Percy.

How hard a man was The Duke to work for?

It was his way or no way, but he was great to work for and a fantastic mentor.

What is your dream race to win?

The Gold Cup was my dream race to win, and I’d love to win that again, but of course the Grand National is very special too.

As it stands who wins the Supreme, Gold Cup, and Ballymore?

It’s a bit early to say too much about the novice hurdles. As for the Gold Cup, you’d have to say Al Boum Photo is going to be very tough to beat as he seeks a third win in a row.

Al Boum Photo

How highly would you rate Rachael Blackmore amongst the current crop of jockeys?

She’s right up there. Put it this way, you know it’s going to be tough if you’re upsides her going over the second-last.

And finally… your favourite biscuit?

Milk chocolate Digestive.


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