Champion Jockey Richard Johnson showed his enduring class at Cartmel Racecourse yesterday with two winners in the space of half an hour on a track affected by heavy overnight rain.

Johnson now has three winners at the course this year after coming through a close finish on Champagne Chaser in the 3.20 Handicap Hurdle before quickly doubling up on board Canton Prince in the Beginners’ Chase. Both horses are trained by Cowbridge’s Tim Vaughan.

The 42-year-old was involved in an absolute cracker in the Handicap Hurdle, as Champagne Chaser came up on the outside of early leaders Some Ambition and Persaid to draw out in front.

The nine-year-old gelding’s job wasn’t done there, as Black Anthem, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies produced a storming finish to challenge on the run-in, as his jockey looked for a first Cartmel winner since 2016.

However, Johnson is just the man for a driven finish and he ensured his ride held on for victory by half a length.

Johnson then had to be patient with Canton Prince in the Beginners’ Chase, which had just four runners, as he went head-to-head with the holder of the Jockeys Challenge at the course, Brian Hughes, who was riding the Donald McCain-trained Sonic.

Canton Prince timed his challenge, with the eight-year-old moving ahead after the second to last jump before easing home by four-and-a-half lengths.

Johnson said: “We’ve been a bit unlucky in a weird way because we’ve had a lot of rain that change the ground to being much softer than it usually would be. Thankfully, my horses managed to cope with it and I have two winners.

“You ride the horses the same as you would on firm ground and you just hope they cope with it.

“I think you saw most of the jockeys all day trying to avoid some of the ground we used on Saturday and try to find the freshest of ground.

“Some horses won’t be able to cope with it, but both my horses managed to get through it.”

In the 5.00 Handicap Chase, Dr Robin made it a hat-trick of wins from his last three races at the course, leading the race from start to finish with 18-year-old James Bowen on board.

Dr Robin, who is trained by Bowen’s father Peter, had to withstand a concerted challenge from Red Giant, and Twiston-Davies, but kicked hard on the run in to win by six lengths.

The other Class 3 race of the day, the 4.25 Handicap Chase, was won by Sam Coltherd on Ardera Cross, who is trained by William Young Jr, by three-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of Theo Gillard and Ink Master, who were left with too much ground to make up.

The day opened with Rukwa, ridden by Jonathan England, edging past Best Not Argue by a neck in the Maiden Hurdle, which saw the James Moffatt-trained The Steward come fourth with Barrow’s Charlotte Jones and Dagian fifth with Hughes.

A winner at his home course eluded Moffatt this month, but he had a second and third, with Boruma and Aptly Put, respectively, in the 2.45 Handicap Hurdle, which was won by Harry Reed on Justatenner.

Moffatt said: “The rain last night hasn’t helped Boruma’s chances, really, and he really struggled through from the second-last going into the last on the deeper ground.

“We bought Aptly Put at the sales in May and I couldn’t really get a handle on him. He’s not the best workhorse at all at home, he just does what he has to, so we didn’t really know how we were. He showed he will improve for the race so I was really pleased with him.”

The Barbecue Meeting was closed out with a dominant win for Penrith trainer Dianne Sayer, as Danny McMenamin came through on Frightened Rabbit in the 5.30 Handicap Hurdle, ten lengths clear of Mighty Whitey and Conor Orr.