Johnson beats bout of flu to bag Valentine’s Day double

Bound Hill on the way to winning at Fontwell yesterday. Picture: Clive Bennett
Bound Hill on the way to winning at Fontwell yesterday. Picture: Clive Bennett

Champion jump jockey Richard Johnson showed he had put a bout of flu behind him quickly with a Valentine’s Day double at Fontwell.

Johnson was laid low at Newbury on Saturday and did not ride on Sunday and Monday, but he was well enough to return at Fontwell’s Tuesday card – and he must have loved every minute.

He twice teamed up with trainer Philip Hobbs to prove his illness has taken away none of his competitive edge.

First Johnson won the Porto Racing Specialist Horse Racing Saddlery Novices’ Hurdle on 1/2 favourite Kayf Adventure, then followed it up in the European Breeders Fund “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle on 4/7 Casper King.

Elsewhere the Fiona Shaw-trained Bound Hill (4/1) claimed the SeanieMac Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Hurdle and Paddy Brennan steered Goring One (9/2) first home in the SeanieMac Casino Free £100 Matched Bet Handicap Chase. Two other favourites, The Geegeez Geegee (2/1) and Chez Castel Mail (6/5) won as well.

Next up at Fontwell is the National Spirit Hurdle raceday on Sunday, February 26 – see next week’s Observer for a full preview.

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