LUDLOW Races witnessed a piece of history on Monday when Herefordshire jockey Richard Johnson notched his 3,000th career winner.

The 38-year-old moved on to the 172-winner mark for the season when St Saviour was first past the winning post.

On course to win his first championship title this season after finishing second to Sir Tony McCoy no less than 15 times, Johnson now just needs four more victories to ride 3,000 winners over jumps, four of his successes having come on the Flat.

The Pembridge-based jockey, who has reached the landmark from a total of 16,744 rides, rode his first winner under Rules on Rusty Bridge at Hereford on April 30, 1994 and aged 18 – a year after his first winner – he was crowned champion conditional jockey in 1995/96.

Riding for his retained stable of trainer Philip Hobbs, aboard St Saviour for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, victory was easy on the promising four-year-old, who made his debut a winning one in the fixture opening Best Wishes For 2016 Juvenile Maiden Hurdle.

Leading the field two hurdles from home, he steadily drew well clear for a 21-length call from The Coffee Hunter as the even-money favourite.

Johnson commented afterwards in his blog: "It's great to get to the 3,000 mark. We knew we were getting close. I don't actually keep a record of every single one, so I was hoping someone would tell me when I got there!

"I really must say that I'm only as good as the horses I ride and the trainers and owners I've been associated with. I’d like to thank all the people I've ridden for over the past 22 years and obviously my agent Dave Roberts who has done such a fantastic job.

He added: "My first winner was Rusty Bridge at Hereford for my grandad, Ivor. At that stage I thought I was just going to be an amateur jockey riding a few point-to-point winners.

"It's been an amazing experience and I've been very fortunate to work with so many great people over the years."

Currently Johnson now stands over 70 clear of his nearest pursuer on 172 for the season and has McCoy’s last season’s tally of 231 as his target.