Johnson setting a scorching pace as she reaches 100 wins

Tim Barton
17 January 2021

Danielle Johnson has notched one of New Zealand’s fastest centuries.

The Waikato rider brought up her 100th win for the season during a spectacular haul on the opening day of the Wellington Cup carnival at Trentham.

The only jockey to have notched a century of wins earlier in a New Zealand season is Michael Walker, who reached his ton on Boxing Day in the 2007-08 season.

Lance O’Sullivan, who did it twice, appears to be the only other rider to have brought up 100 wins before the end of January. James McDonald was on 98 wins at the end of January in the 2010-11 season.

O’Sullivan has almost certainly recorded the fastest century in terms of rides, taking just 361 mounts – an extraordinary strike rate - to bring up the milestone in the 1996-97 season. Walker was having his 528th ride when he reached 100 in 2007-08.

Johnson has also maintained a top-class strike rate, with win No. 100 coming on Quattro Quinta – in the Listed IRT Wellesley Stakes – at her 501st ride for the season. Johnson added another three wins at the premier meeting at Trentham, including notching her first Group I win for the term when Avantage won the $250,000 Berkett Telegraph.

That gave Johnson 103 wins for the term at a strike rate of 4.86. The only flat rider in the top 60 on the premiership with a superior strike rate is Opie Bosson, who has recorded 34 wins at 3.82.

Johnson has been the dominant rider this term by almost every other measure.

No other jockey has topped 50 wins, with Craig Grylls in second-place on the premiership with 46. Johnson is also the leading rider in terms of stake money – with almost double that of her nearest rival - and group and listed wins. Her mounts have earned almost $2.3 million in stake-money this season and her three black-type wins at Trentham took her tally for the term to 10, two more than Bosson.

Johnson highlighted a big day for female riders at Trentham, with Andrew Calder the only male rider to record a win on the nine-race card.

Allpress recorded a winning double, including a Group I, while Sam Collett and Hazel Schofer also notched wins. Johnson, Allpress, Collett and Schofer also hold four of the top five spots on the jockeys’ premiership.

It was appropriate that Johnson rode winners for both Jamie Richards and Stephen Marsh at Trentham, as these two trainers have provided the bulk of her wins this season. Johnson has won 44 races for Richards and 14 for Marsh.

Johnson has recorded four wins in a day four times this term, including twice at Trentham and also won four at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and recorded a winning treble six times.

October was her most prolific month, when she recorded 33 wins. Winning more than 30 races in a month would be a rare feat in New Zealand, though Lance O’Sullivan won 39 in January 1997.

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