Richard Johnson And The Grand National

Lalor wins the Betway Novices' Hurdle at Aintree

Just over a week to go now before the Grand National, arguably the most famous race in the National Hunt calendar. We currently have an ante-post selection for the race live on our Grand National Tips page, which includes a full ante-post preview of the race.

Betway ambassador Richard Johnson is surprisingly yet to win the race, despite having gone close on a few occasions. We will have a more in-depth look at those near misses and assess the chances of his mount this year – Rock The Kasbah.

Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson has been Britain’s National Hunt Racing Champion Jockey for the past three years, and he is in a strong position to retain his title this year. However, he is still yet to win the Grand National, despite having ridden in the race on twenty occasions.

Watch Richard Johnson’s Grand National Story to date in the video below.

Which other top jockeys have never won the race?

Legendary jumps jockey A P McCoy finally broke his National duck at the fifteenth attempt when scoring in 2010 on Don’t Push It. Other famous riders were not so fortunate, however, with seven-time Champion Jockey John Francome often dubbed as the best rider never to win the Grand National – albeit Richard Johnson would run him close were he never to win the race.

Fellow multiple Champion Jockeys Peter Scudamore and Stan Mellor are other popular riders never to have won the Grand National.

How close has he come to winning it?

Richard Johnson’s form figures in the Grand National read UFFPF20BPPRFF9P002FP, with his two second-place finishes coming on What’s Up Boys (2002) and Balthazar King (2014). He has completed the course on just four other occasions, so has a 30% completion rate.

What’s Up Boys is officially the closest he has ever come to winning the National – beaten a length and three quarters behind Bindaree – with Balthazar King five lengths behind Pineau De Re in the 2014 renewal of the race.

A win in 2019?

Richard Johnson’s mount this year – Rock The Kasbah – is trained by his long-term collaborator Philip Hobbs, and is owned by Diana Whateley, who Johnson has ridden big race winners for in the past, with perhaps the most famous of those being the popular Menorah.

Rock The Kasbah has been given a light campaign this term, with a win at Cheltenham in November flanked by sixth-place finishes at Chepstow and the aforementioned Cheltenham. Top weight Bristol De Mai is to skip the race in preference of the Betway Bowl, so Rock The Kasbah is set to be raised four pounds and will carry 10st 13lb – coincidently the same weight current market favourite Tiger Roll carried to victory last year.

Like many in the field, this son of Shirocco will need to prove his stamina for this gruelling four-mile two-and-a-half-furlong trip, but with six of his top seven RPR’s coming on ground with good in the official going description, the dry forecast for the upcoming week looks a notable plus for his chances.

There would be few more popular winners than if Rock The Kasbah were to cross the line in front. Everyone at myracing wishes Betway ambassador Richard Johnson all the best in the 2019 Grand National.

Many thanks to Betway for the use of their video.

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