Monday, we start at Stratford, Harry Skelton kept up his challenge for the jockeys’ championship by riding a four-timer. At Wincanton, Harry Cobden kept himself in the race for the jockeys’ championship by riding a treble. At Fontwell, Gary Moore got a double with Episode and Furlough Me. At Wolverhampton, Dream With Me was on target for Mark Johnston.
Tuesday, we start at Warwick there was a double for Dan and Harry Skelton with Stylish Dancer and King D'argent. At Fakenham, Potters Legend took the veterans chase. At Wolverhampton, Boss Power was on target for Sir Michael Stoute. At Newcastle, Brian Hughes had a double with Geromino and Tortuga Bay.
Wednesday, we start at Dundalk. Falak followed up on a course and distance win from his last appearance in January. Nightly Wailing gave honest chase to the line but the John McConnell-trained and Siobhan Rutledge-ridden Falak was always getting the best of this, once heading front-runner Happy Lad over a furlong out. Falak accounted for Nightly Wailing by a length and a quarter. Favourite No Thanks could manage only fourth place. After winning for his boss Ger Lyons earlier aboard Thunder Kiss, Colin Keane doubled up on the all-weather this evening, on Des Donovan’s Tipperary Moon.
At Ludlow, Ballymoy was on target for Daryl Jacob. At Southwell, Harry Skelton’s stellar form continued as he kept up his title charge with a treble. At Hexham, Shane Quinlan had a double Peltwell and Golan Cloud. At Kempton, May Night was on target for Andrew Balding.
Thursday, we start at Clonmel. Cavallino defied a drift in the market when landing the opening Happy Easter Opportunity Handicap Hurdle for Willie Mullins and Conor McNamara. At Uttoxeter, Harry Skelton was on target with Stormy Flight. At Wetherby, Paricolor was on target for David Pipe. At Ffos Las, the feature race went to Amateur under Jamie Bargarry. At Chelmsford, Fundamental was on target for John Gosden.
Friday, we start at Lingfield. It was all-weather finals day. Ranch Hand showed a neat turn of foot in the straight to land the Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes. Ranch Hand was advised 2pts win at 7/2 to our members. Khuzaam blitzed the field with an impressive performance to win the Bombardier All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes. Bangkok asserted in the closing stages to land the odds in the Betway Easter Classic All-Weather Middle Distance Championships.
Saturday, we start with the big news that. Four-time champion jumps jockey Richard Johnson has announced his retirement. Johnson, 43, announced his unexpected decision after his final ride on Brother Tedd at Newton Abbot.
He said: “After nearly 30 years in the saddle, the time has come for me to retire.“I have been so extraordinarily lucky to have ridden so many wonderful horses, and for so many incredible trainers and owners.“It was particularly important to me to finish on one for Philip and Sarah Hobbs – who, like Henry Daly, have supported me for over 20 years. I’ll never be able to articulate what their loyalty has meant to me.”Many of Johnson’s highest-profile winners came for Hobbs, including on Rooster Booster in the 2003 Champion Hurdle.He also rode two Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, Looks Like Trouble in 2000 and Native River in 2018
Johnson added in a statement: “There are so many people to thank who have been part of my journey.“Without ‘the Duke’ (trainer David Nicholson) and Dinah Nicholson and their remarkable staff, I’d never have got that first leg up.“Noel Chance, Peter Bowen and Milton Bradley – thank you for putting your trust in me when I was starting out. Those were the days that shaped my career, with so many people who remain lifelong friends.“The truth is there are simply too many people to thank on an individual basis, but you know who you are and what you mean to me. To jockeys past and present who I’ve shared weighing-room benches with up-and-down the country, to the valets who have looked after me, to the doctors who’ve patched me up and to the physios who’ve put me back together.
“Without (agent) Dave Roberts, I’d have never ridden as many winners – and without the help of physio Kate Davis in recent years, I wouldn’t physically have been able to. I salute you all.”Johnson was a perennial runner-up to 20-times champion jockey Sir Anthony McCoy for much of his career – but following his great rival’s retirement, he too made the title his own for four successive years, from 2015/16 to 2018/19. He added: “Thank you to the Tote and the ROA for sponsoring me. Thanks to all the fantastic racecourses and staff that put on this great show and to all the media who have been so supportive for so long.
“To all horseracing fans who we have missed so much this year on our racecourses. Thank you for every cheer, every shout of encouragement – it’s given me enormous strength over the years. I am so very grateful to you all. “To my wonderful family, thank you so much. Mum, Dad and my brother Nick who have always been by my side. Finally, to my wife Fiona and amazing children Willow, Caspar and Percy. Without you, nothing would have been possible.”
At Musselburgh, Themaxwecan highlighted a Mark Johnston four-timer when landing the valuable Betway Queen’s Cup. At Haydock, Sexy Lot took the mares final for David Pipe. Sexy Lot was advised to our member's 2pts win at 10/3. There was a very impressive win for Five Star Getaway who looks like a smart horse for Christian Williams.
At Fairyhouse, There was a J P McManus one two in the Listed Download The BoyleSports App Mares Chase at Fairyhouse with Elimay (8/15) leading home Demi Plie (50/1). Letsbeclearaboutit justified odds of 4/7 in the finale on day one of the Easter Festival. Hearts Are Trumps led home a JP McManus one-two in the RYBO Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse. The feature handicap, the most valuable race on day one of the Easter Festival, was dominated by McManus’s famous green-and-gold silks. Hearts Are Trumps, ridden by Jody McGarvey for trainer Des McDonogh, collared Magic Tricks after the last to win by half-a-length at 12-1.
At Cork, Laugh A Minute was a surprise winner of the Listed Sean Barrett Bloodstock Stakes at Cork. A smart performer a couple of years ago for Roger Varian, Laugh A Minute was on a losing streak of nine since winning on his second outing for Ado McGuinness. Well beaten when favourite at Dundalk last time out, Gavin Ryan’s mount looked to have plenty to do with two furlongs to run. Eventual runner-up Fiscal Rules and Gustavus Weston were in the process of battling it out, with the favourite Lustown Baba and Make A Challenge all in there pitching. However, Laugh A Minute found a rare turn of foot and soon quickened clear to win by a decisive two lengths at 16-1.
Sunday, we start at Fairyhouse. Willie Mullins and Paul Townend doubled up at early in the card Fairyhouse with the hugely impressive Echoes In Rain in the Grade Two Paddy Kehoe Suspended Ceilings Novice Hurdle. Already on the mark on this card with El Barra. The Willie Mullins team had a four-timer at Fairyhouse with Janidil in the Underwriting Exchange Gold Cup Novice Chase and Dark Raven who took the bumper. Jody McGarvey enjoyed a dream Easter Sunday as he completed a Grade One double aboard Janidil in the Underwriting Exchange Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse. Having earlier struck aboard Skyace in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final, McGarvey teamed up with Janidil, the outsider of three runners for Willie Mullins in the two-and-a-half-mile contest. Shark Hanlon saddled his first Grade 1 winner as Skyace, a 600 pounds purchase at Ascot in 2019, landed the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse. The daughter of Westerner has been a real rag to riches story for the Birdinthehand Syndicate winning five races in the past ten months and nearly 200,000 in prize money. Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power combined for a quick 120/1 double at Fairyhouse as Jungle Junction landed the BoyleSports Novice Handicap Chase. The 10/1 chance, the same price as Grade 2 winner Ashdale Bob just 35 minutes earlier, asserted after two out and kept on well under pressure on the run-in to beat Brawler by a length and three quarters.
At Cork the Brian Hayes-ridden The West Awaits gave Willie Mullins five winners on the day. Hayes completed a double on Botani. Ya Ya Baby won the opener at Cork under Sean O’Keeffe for Jessica Harrington, to give Jessie a treble on the day across the cards. Seven-year-old mare Waitnsee (7/2) gained a deserved black-type success at Cork today in the featured Grade 3 Baroneracing.com Chase, scoring for trainer John Ryan and jockey Kevin Brouder.