Richard Johnson and Tom Scudamore delighted to be back

Tue 12 Feb 2019

Richard Johnson is chomping at the bit to get back into action when racing resumes on  Wednesday following its six-day shutdown because of equine influenza.

The champion jumps jockey took time from riding out on Tuesday morning to express his delight at the decision.

“Obviously it’s fantastic – and fingers crossed they’ve contained any problems we’ve had – and I’m looking forward to getting back racing,” said Johnson.

“It was frustrating for everybody. But looking at it, it’s not been as bad as it could have been. I hope we can all look forward to getting back to it – and spring is only round the corner.

“There’s plenty of good racing to look forward to this weekend, and I’m keen to get back.”

With racing abandoned, Johnson has been able to enjoy more time with his wife Fiona and their three children.

“I’ve spent plenty of time with the family – taking them to school, to everything,” he said.

Johnson can look forward to riding Native River again, in defence of his Gold Cup crown at Cheltenham next month
Johnson can look forward to riding Native River again, in defence of his Gold Cup crown at Cheltenham next month

“It’s been great to see them and do that.

“Now I’m looking forward to getting back racing again. There’s lots of good racing to look forward to over the next couple of months.”

That, of course, includes next month’s Cheltenham Festival – where he is due to ride title-holder Native River again in the Gold Cup.

Johnson’s weighing-room colleague Tom Scudamore was lucky enough to get a couple of rides in Ireland during the enforced break, and he is just as pleased racing is returning in this country.

“I’m looking forward to getting back. Obviously it’s great news to be back in action, and I just hope everything can get back into the swing of things as soon as possible,” he said.

Plumpton will be one of the courses to welcome racing back on Wednesday, after the shutdown
Plumpton will be one of the courses to welcome racing back on Wednesday, after the shutdown

“I was in Ireland riding over the weekend. I kept pretty busy. I haven’t been away anywhere. A few of the lads have gone skiing – a couple went off to play golf.

“I just tried to keep in shape. It’s a busy time of year.

“From my point of view, I’m just looking forward to getting back on the track.

“It’s just good it’s all back on, and we can look forward now.”

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