Racing: Motorway fall puts Johnson in doubt for One Knight at Chepstow
Tuesday 27 December 2005
Richard Johnson may be forced to miss the ride on One Knight, favourite for today's Welsh National at Chepstow, after taking a heavy fall at Sandown. The jockey suffered bruised ribs when kicked in the chest after his tumble at the fifth flight from Motorway in the opening handicap hurdle. He had to give up his other three rides at the Esher track, including Monkerhostin in the King George.
One Knight's trainer, Philip Hobbs, said: "Richard has left the course sore and I really don't know if he will be riding tomorrow."
Hobbs is hopeful of a good show from One Knight, who is unbeaten in four races at Chepstow, but unraced through injury since winning the Rehearsal Chase over 12 months ago and who has been restricted to two runs in the past two seasons. "He's always run his better races there," Hobbs said, "and he's always run well fresh, so hopefully the two together will help his cause."
The meeting at Chepstow, in common with all today's turf cards in Britain, hinges on a morning inspection because of the threat of frost.
In addition to the Welsh National, the track hosts the Long Walk Hurdle, re-routed from Ascot because of rebuilding and from Windsor because of frost. Inglis Drever is the main attraction there, while at Wetherby the return of Fundamentalist in a Castleford Chase encounter with Oneway and Mister McGoldrick tops the bill.
There are no problems with frost in Ireland, where Moscow Flyer aims to return to winning form against recent conqueror Central House at Leopardstown.
Yesterday at the Co Dublin track the Champion Bumper winner, Missed That, continued his progress over fences when holding the challenge of Wild Passion by a length and a quarter in a novices' chase. Justified, the 5-4 favourite, got only as far as the first fence, crashing through the top and unseating Shay Barry.
Willie Mullins, the winning trainer, said: "Missed That has made a huge improvement in his jumping and I liked the way he picked up from the last. We'll stay at two miles for the time being and possibly come back here for the Irish Arkle on 29 January and then see about Cheltenham."
The meeting at Down Royal was abandoned because of a bomb alert - the second-successive fixture at the track to be called off for this reason. Officials plan to stage the card today.
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