Richard Johnson suffers suspected broken arm

Richard Johnson

Betting has been suspended on the race to be National Hunt Champion Jockey, with odds-on favourite Richard Johnson reportedly suffering a suspected broken arm at Exeter.

Johnson has claimed the title for the past four years and was previously 8-11 favourite to make it five a row. 

Punters, however, have been backing Brian Hughes to break the Johnson stranglehold this year as the Hereford-born rider does not have the lead he usually has going into the business end of the season.

 72% of bets in the last seven days have been on the Northern Irishman as the two were set for a titanic battle for the title.

If the reports around Johnson are true, Hughes will go clear favourite to become only the third different jockey to claim the coveted trophy since 1996.

Oddschecker spokesperson Callum Wilson: “It would be an awfully sad way for this enthralling Champion Jockey tussle to end with Brian Hughes looking like he has been gifted the title. 

“Dickie Johnson will be hoping it is only a minor injury and he can get back in the saddle swiftly but it does not good look for the reigning Champion. 

“If he is sadly sidelined for a while, then at least Brian Hughes is a fitting new Champion, having ridden out of his skin all season and is a class act on and off the racecourse.”

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