REBECCA Davies reflects on Richard Johnson's Hennessy Gold Cup success.

THE Hennessy Gold Cup, staged each season at Newbury Racecourse, is one of Jump racing’s most prestigious races.

With an illustrious history of racing’s great and good etched on the trophy it was only a matter of time until champion Jockey Richard Johnson joined the list.

Partnering Native River for the in form Colin Tizzard yard, Richard battled it out in a dramatic finish to claim the race for the first time.

There are few more plain speaking and popular trainers than Somerset based Tizzard, and few if any more respected jockeys than Johnson.

In pairing up, the two showcased all that is good with jump racing and its strong agricultural links.

There are many similarities between the Tizzard and Johnson families, none more so than their passion and involvement with farming which is mirrored by their success on the track. However despite winning Saturday’s showpiece, Richard has still to ride a winner at Hereford since our reopening, although he has ridden seven seconds.

Naming our Rusty Bridge restaurant in his honour has clearly put a jinx on, and Richard has one more opportunity to put this right with our last fixture of 2016 on Monday, December 19.

By contrast, at our last fixture aspiring jockey Cian Maher rode his first ever winner and in doing so scooped the day’s Alan Lee Memorial Award, in honour of The Times Racing Correspondent who sadly died earlier this year.

Alan loved his jump racing and was the champion of smaller racecourses.

The award covers our four fixtures this year with other winners being Sam Twiston-Davies for his treble on the reopening fixture and, you’ve guessed it, Richard Johnson for his five seconds at one meeting alone.

Monday, December 19 is our Christmas Jumper Raceday and promises to be a great start to Christmas week.

We have a fun ‘Christmas cracker’ raceday package offering admission, hot turkey roll, hot mince pie and mulled wine all for just £26 (only available in advance online at

We have introduced a new Season Ticket for 2017 offering discounted admission to all 11 fixtures.

It is simple, straight forward and would make the ideal Christmas present for those looking to come racing regularly next year.