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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 19:24 GMT
Richard Johnson
Johnson went to the same school as Peter Scudamore and many believe he will one day emulate his fellow former Belmont Abby pupil by becoming champion jockey.

Richard Johnson
Date of birth: 21 July 1977
Place of birth: Hereford
Main trainers: Philip Hobbs, Henry Daly and Alan King
2002-03 wins: 146
2001-02 wins: 132
2000-01 wins: 162
1999-00 wins: 142

To that end he has been the only jockey who has got anywhere near champion Tony McCoy in recent seasons.

With McCoy missing two months in the summer of 2003 with a broken arm, this season could be Johnson's best chance of breaking his stranglehold on the title.

In 2001-02 he finished with fewer than half as many winners as the Irish phenomenon, but the margin would have been smaller had Johnson not been injured.

A broken right leg at Exeter in November 2001 meant he was sidelined for almost three months.

Once he got back in the saddle, he made up for lost time with a blistering streak of winners.

They included victory on Flagship Uberalles in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham, where he finished top jockey with two wins.

The biggest victory of his career also came at Cheltenham in the previous Festival in 2000, when he won the Gold Cup on Looks Like Trouble.

The fates conspired cruelly again this season when he broke the same leg in a fall at Newton Abbot in August, 10 months after the previous fracture.

But he returned to the saddle and enjoyed another successful Cheltenham campaign in 2003, with four winners including Rooster Booster in the Champion Hurdle.

His much-publicised on-off relationship with Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Phillips, keeps him on the front pages as well as the back.

And her congratulatory kiss after his big-race triumph at Cheltenham dominated the front page of The Sun, Britain's biggest selling daily newspaper.




NATIONAL HUNT 2003-04

SEASON REVIEW

MAJOR CHASES
 

MAJOR HURDLE RACES
 

JOCKEYS PROFILED
LEADING JOCKEY PROFILES
 

TRAINERS PROFILED
 

RACING EXPLAINED



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