Ton-up for Johnson

  • Last Updated: December 22 2012, 16:54 GMT

Richard Johnson brought up a century of winners yet again in the Foundation Developments Novices' Handicap Hurdle at Ascot.

  • De La Bech grinds his way to victory in the opener
  • Cedre Bleu clears the last before winning under Ruby Walsh 
  • Wyck Hill digs deep to win the valuable handicap chase 

The universally-liked jockey, perennial runner-up to Tony McCoy in the championship, passed the 100-mark for the 17th time in a row through De La Bech, trained by his boss, Philip Hobbs.

The 3-1 favourite was quite heroic in atrocious conditions as he made every yard of the three miles and fought off final rival Okafranca by a length and a quarter.

"I've just been very fortunate to have the support of Philip and some other very good trainers," said the 35-year-old Johnson.

"Myself and Tom O'Brien have been holding this horse up this season but he has been too keen so we thought he should just bowl on.

"He's really a three-mile chaser but hopefully there's more to come over hurdles too."

  • Heavy rain throughout the morning leaves Ascot saturated...
  • ...but clerk of the course Chris Stickels is able to give the meeting the green light
  • The action gets under way and De La Bech defies a big weight in the opener...
  • ...but it's clearly hard work for horses and jockeys alike
  • Cedre Bleu wins the novice chase for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh
  • Reve De Sivola is out on his own in the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle...
  • ...and runs his rivals ragged under Richard Johnson
  • Wyck Hill stays on bravely to win the listed handicap chase
  • Cause Of Causes scoots clear to win The Ladbroke...
  • ...and spark celebrations for his connections
  • Ulck Du Lin sends favourite backers into Christmas in a happy mood
All the best images from day two of Ascot's Christmas fixture

Ruby Walsh got the better of McCoy in a fine tussle for the Shawbrook Bank Graduation Chase.

Trainer Paul Nicholls felt this small field event, for horses which have not won more than two chases, fitted in nicely for Walsh's mount Cedre Bleu, who has had a fairly low-key career so far.

The 5-4 joint-favourite sat in behind McCoy and Brass Tax for most of the way but as they jostled down the home straight, Cedre Blue found half a length more.

"I think putting cheekpieces on him has helped him concentrate better," said Nicholls.

"The conditions were perfect and he's a sort of unexposed horse. I'll probably find another one of these next month and then go for something better in the spring."

The team registered a double through even-money favourite Ulck Du Lin in the BGC Partners Handicap Chase.

David Bridgwater has a progressive horse on his hands in Wyck Hill (4-1), who took the Champagne Bollinger Silver Cup Handicap Chase by four lengths.

Effectively running off a 13lb higher mark than on his reappearance victory at Wetherby as he was out of the handicap, the strapping eight-year-old kept pulling out more for Tom Scudamore as he held off the persistent Katenko.

"Tom was brilliant on him today, and all the horse does is stay," said Bridgwater.

"He'll go up again but I might run him in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton. He could end up being a National horse."