In a career which spanned more than 30 years, Jim Johnson's skill and vigour brought him success in some 125 feature races.
Johnson was a late-comer to big time racing. He rode his first winner in 1945, and by the early 1960s his winning tally was over 1,000 and he had won four Adelaide jockeys' premierships. But he was little known in the eastern states and there was little demand there for his services. In 1963, he had a stroke of luck when he picked up the ride on Gatum Gatum in the Melbourne Cup. His win in the Cup lifted him into prominence and persuaded him to try his luck full time in Victoria.
Success came quickly and he won the Melbourne jockeys' premiership in 1966-67. Highlights of his career included his dominance of the 1966 Melbourne spring carnival when he won nine weight-for-age events; his partnership firstly with Winfreux, and later with Tobin Bronze on whom he won the Caulfield Cup and two Cox Plates, and his dual Melbourne Cup successes on Rain Lover in 1968 and 1969.
Johnson rode in Singapore 1970-73, winning the jockeys' premiership in 1972 and 1973. When he finally retired in 1976 he had ridden 2158 winners.
Jim Johnson was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2009.