Johnson for ‘Maher’
Chris Johnson is suspended but was a keen observer of racing at Riccarton on Saturday.
And the reigning national jockeys’ premiership champion will be pleased with what he saw from the now outright Coupland’s Bakeries Mile favourite Son Of Maher.
The Michael and Matt Pitman trained Son Of Maher, who races in the colours of Vermair Racing, was an impressive one and a quarter length winner of the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile Trial on Saturday.
The victory was significant enough for bookmakers to move the Al Maher gelding into $5 favouritism for the $230,000 feature on the middle day of Cup week (November 15).
Vermair Racing was founded by former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum and the cricketing hero took to social media to congratulate team Pitman and Saturday’s jockey Sam Wynne on the victory.
But Michael Pitman confirmed that Johnson would be back for the ride in the Group II Coupland’s Bakeries Mile.
Johnson has also been booked to ride Son Of Maher’s stablemate Sensei in the Group I Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 11.Sensei is an $8 chance in the 2000 Guineas market.
Earlier this month, Johnson was handed two careless riding suspensions within three days. The resulting penalties put him on the sidelines for 17 meetings.
Sam Wynne rides Son Of Maher to victory at Riccarton on Saturday.