Richard Johnson was thrilled to make the perfect return to the saddle at Musselburgh on Thursday after landing a double from just two rides.
Having been out of action since suffering a broken arm in a fall at Exeter on January 21, the four-times champion jockey was given the green light to make his comeback earlier this week – and travelled to Scotland for two mounts for trainer Olly Murphy.
Made For You was the 7-4 favourite for the Meetings That Matter On Racing TV Handicap Hurdle, but required all of Johnson’s trademark strength in the saddle on the run-in to get up and beat Vino’s Choice by a neck in the dying strides.
Johnson said: “I’m delighted to be back racing again and to ride a couple of winners is even better.
“I’d say I was blowing more than the horse (Made For You) was, to be honest!”
Johnson and Murphy combined successfully for a second time with Dubai Guest, who justified even-money favouritism in the concluding Racing Post Go North Weekend 20-22 March Standard Open NH Flat Race.
Johnson trailed title rival Brian Hughes by just three winners at the time of his injury, but was 20 adrift prior to Thursday’s card, with Hughes leading by 131 winners to 111.
Johnson admitted earlier this week that he was “up against it” in this year’s title race, but is not giving up by any means.
He added: “After what happened last month, I’m just delighted to be back racing.
“Hopefully we can keep at it and we’ll see where it takes us.”