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Chris Johnson


pete
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He will be back, can't keep Superstars on the sideline. Just want him to get the record then turn to a, new venture within the industry

SI racing will be very weak once Chris stops riding, as if it ain't bad enough now

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Turny
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Yip it's a shame that it's happened to him,sounds like he's going to cop the punishment which i read could be a month- 6 weeks suspension??. Quite interesting in reading the comments on his fanpage on the book of faces. Plenty of people have their rose coloured glasses on..accusing the powers that be of picking on him etc and it's no big deal. Think they all need a dose of reality.

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Racing: Champion New Zealand jockey Chris Johnson fails breathalyser test during race meeting at Riccarton

13 Sep, 2020 6:00am
 2 minutes to read
Chris Johnson. Photo / Paul Taylor
Chris Johnson. Photo / Paul Taylor
NZ Herald
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Champion jockey Chris Johnson could face a suspension after being stood down from riding at Riccarton yesterday for failing a breathalyser test.

Johnson is just 10 wins away from becoming New Zealand's most successful jockey for domestic wins but was tested by stewards after riding in the first race and then stood down for the remainder of the meeting.

Johnson rode Aquattack in the first race at Riccarton - at 12.05pm - leading the $12 outsider to third place before he was stood down.

The local training duo of Matthew and Michael Pitman had to turn to stand-in rider Lee Callaway, who took his first victory since December after filling in for Johnson.

 

Michael Pitman had no hesitation in booking Callaway once Johnson was made unavailable and was full of praise for his handling of the lightly raced eight-year-old Turncoat, who Pitman had labelled earlier in the day as a solid winning chance.

"I was interviewed earlier in the morning and I said then I thought Turncoat was our best winning chance," Pitman said.

"He was very unlucky last time when he just got beaten and, on his work, I thought he would go very close again.

"It was a no-brainer to put Lee on once Chris was unavailable as he had ridden him to win before for us."

In 2016, Johnson was given an eight-week suspension after a positive cannabis test at the Rangiora trials.

Johnson pled guilty at a hearing but claimed he did not knowingly use the drug and had no explanation for why he tested positive. Pitman said at the time that he felt it was likely that Johnson had been "spiked".

Johnson started his career in 1980, and despite taking seven years away from the sport from 1998-2005 has racked up 2441 wins in New Zealand - just 10 shy of David Walsh's record.

The 56-year-old has notched 18,818 New Zealand starts in his career which has stretched into a fifth decade, and his horses have won nearly $30 million in stakes in that timeframe.

 

He has had a quiet 2020/2021 season thus far, with his solitary win in 69 starts coming aboard Asathought at Wingatui in August.

- With NZ Racing Desk

 

Racing: Champion New Zealand jockey Chris Johnson speaks out after failing breathalyser test at Riccarton race meeting

13 Sep, 2020 3:00pm
 4 minutes to read
Chris Johnson. Photo / Paul Taylor.
Chris Johnson. Photo / Paul Taylor.
NZ Herald
 
By: Michael Guerin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Champion jockey Chris Johnson is adamant he wasn't drunk when stood down from riding for failing a breathalyser test at Riccarton on Saturday.

But the 56-year-old on the verge of setting a new record for domestic wins by a New Zealand jockey says he won't argue with the results of the test that will almost certainly see him suspended for at least a month.

Johnson was breathalysed after finishing third in the first race at Riccarton and says his level was 145mcg, falling to 130mcg for his next test 10 minutes later.

While the Racing Integrity Unit steward in charge of the meeting John Oatham would not confirm Johnson's exact readings, he said Johnson's claims were close enough to accurate.

 

While a driver of a motor vehicle over 20 is considered under the limit up until 250mcg, for jockeys riding in races or trials that limit is 100mcg so the stewards had no option but to stand Johnson down.

Johnson isn't arguing with their actions or the readings but the one-time flawed genius man of New Zealand racing says he had not been drinking heavily the night before and definitely hadn't drunk on the day of the races.

"I had a few on Friday night, a couple of beers and some bourbons but nothing serious. I was in bed by 11pm," says Johnson, who has battled alcoholism in the past.

"The problem was I didn't eat. I was wasting (trying to quickly drop weight) so I could ride a couple of horses at 54kgs so I didn't have dinner on Friday night and no breakfast on Saturday.

"And I spent an hour in the spa to get some weight off in the morning so when I got to the races I must have had the alcohol still in my system but I definitely wasn't drunk or impaired.

"I actually drove the truck to the races because I was fine."

 

 

Johnson, who tested positive for cannabis at a trial meeting in 2016 and was suspended for eight weeks, has gone off the rails when drinking in the past, nearly ruining the career of one of the most naturally gifted riders in New Zealand history.

He never hides from that reality and has sought help for his struggles and just a year after his 2016 drug suspension he fought back to win the national jockey's premiership.

 

He now needs just 11 more wins to pass David Walsh for the most wins ever by a New Zealand jockey, with Walsh's record standing at 2451 victories.

Having battled the demon before Johnson says he has put his wild nights behind him.

"I know what it is like to go on those benders and get messed up and I don't do that anymore. Those days are gone.

"I still enjoy a drink but I don't hit it hard and this definitely wasn't a case of that.

"I am not saying the machine (breathalyser) was wrong so I will probably plead guilty and get a suspension.

"But I am not going anywhere. I am going to keep riding and break that record."

 

Respected trainer John Parsons, who Johnson works for part-time and rides a lot for in races, says he travelled to the races with Johnson and saw no indications he was intoxicated.

"He was fine to look at and speak to and had it been a roadside driving alcohol test it wouldn't even be a factor," said Parsons.

"Chris spends a lot of time with us and he seems to be fine, his drinking hasn't been a problem," says Parsons, a renowned straight shooter.

Senior steward Oatham says the unusual decision to test Johnson after race one, rather than at the start of the day, was at the steward's discretion and not because of a complaint from any other industry participant.

Oatham said Johnson was cooperative and while he wouldn't be drawn on a likely penalty. Suspensions of a month or six weeks have tended to be the norm for failed alcohol tests at races and trials.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Johnson out for a month

Michael Guerin

Leading jockey Chris Johnson has copped a four-week suspension and $1000 fine for being over the allowed blood alcohol limit on a race day.

Johnson pleaded guilty to the charge after failing a breathalyser test at Riccarton nine days ago, where his mcg was as high as 145, with the limit for raceday riding being 100mcg. The legal limit for driving a car is 250mcg.

 

Johnson will miss four weeks' riding but will return on October 17 needing just eight more wins to become New Zealand's most successful domestic jockey.

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Drinking on an empty stomach is an easy mistake to make, especially for a jockey, but a man of his worldly wisdom should (and would) have known the risks. 

The problem wasnt that he had nothing to eat; the problem was that he had too much to drink the night before raceday "a couple of beers and some bourbons but nothing serious". 

Beer and bourbon the night before the races while wasting to make 54kg ...hmmmm.

Max wishes CWJ all the best in his quest for the record. Ideally it will come during the Cup carnival.

MM

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23 minutes ago, Maximus said:

Drinking on an empty stomach is an easy mistake to make, especially for a jockey, but a man of his worldly wisdom should (and would) have known the risks. 

The problem wasnt that he had nothing to eat; the problem was that he had too much to drink the night before raceday "a couple of beers and some bourbons but nothing serious". 

Beer and bourbon the night before the races while wasting to make 54kg ...hmmmm.

Max wishes CWJ all the best in his quest for the record. Ideally it will come during the Cup carnival.

MM

Yeah excuse doesn't stack up because alcohol is absorbed more quickly on an empty stomach.

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Not so Pete, 

Food absorbs alcohol. No food and the alcohol stays within the bloodstream. 

Hooksie had 2 beers and 2 bourbons, had he had even a light meal it would have returned zero. 

Doesn't matter much, he is on stream to ride 8 more. He doesn't have to prove anything, but SI racing without him is fckued

Enjoy

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9 hours ago, Turny said:

Not so Pete, 

Food absorbs alcohol. No food and the alcohol stays within the bloodstream. 

Hooksie had 2 beers and 2 bourbons, had he had even a light meal it would have returned zero. 

Doesn't matter much, he is on stream to ride 8 more. He doesn't have to prove anything, but SI racing without him is fckued

Enjoy

of course he could have had a light meal and no alcohol if the intention is to be able to ride at 54kg the next day.

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