Tom Scudamore: ‘I see no reason why Adagio can’t improve for his Cheltenham run.’
Coral ambassador pays tribute to Richard Johnson and previews his ride at Aintree,
day one of the Grand National Festival
‘Dickie’ Johnson has quite rightly received plenty of plaudits since he announced his retirement, and it was typical of the man that he did it with the minimum of fuss.
He will leave a huge hole in the weighing room, and he wasn’t just a great competitor, he was one of my best friends and I’ll miss him an awful lot. He was probably the most popular jockey that’s ridden, everyone had the utmost admiration for him.
The great thing is he’ll be retiring with no regrets, he gave it absolutely everything. He had a wonderful talent and he made the most if it. You would tell any young jockey, if they wanted a role model, just look at Richard Johnson.
As a rival, strong, tough and fair are the three words I’d use to describe him. He was a fantastic jockey, but more than that, he’s the strongest jockey I’ve seen.
He was also the toughest, people rightly said how tough AP [McCoy] was, but ‘Dickie’ had a pain threshold that no one could match.
He was also such an honest, dedicated and fair jockey, you could never imagine him getting into trouble for his riding. If he was ever upset about something that went on on the track, it was because he was in the right.
His retirement doesn’t quite leave me as the senior statesman in the weighing room. Paddy Brennan and Will Kennedy are ahead of me, but we’ve all got plenty of life left in us!
Tom Scudamore Rides Adagio at Aintree Day 1 of the Grand National
Having finished second in the Triumph Hurdle last month, Adagio brings the best form into this race.
He’s a cracking horse, a Grade One winner, and one we’ve always thought plenty of. The one question mark is you never know how much Cheltenham can take out of a horse, I guess we’ll find out when we get to the second last!
I have to respect the favourite Monmiral, he’s been in good form this season, although I’d argue he’s not achieved more than Adagio has.
Monmiral didn’t go to Cheltenham, so has been kept fresh for Ascot. As I say, we’ll see how much difference that makes, but I see no reason why my fellow can’t improve again for his Cheltenham run, so I have plenty of confidence and I’m looking forward to it.
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