RICHARD Hughes, who will captain the team of Internationals vs South Africathis weekend, was crowned champion jockey of the UK for the second time in a ceremony at Doncaster on the final day of the Flat season on Saturday.
Following on from winning the title for the first time 12 months ago, this campaign has been even more memorable for Hughes. He claimed a first Classic victory as Sky Lantern triumphed in the 1000 Guineas for his boss and father-in-law Richard Hannon back in May.
Richard Hughes (www.sportinglife.co.uk).
Hughes then picked up the spare ride on Ralph Beckett’s Talent in the Investec Oaks just a few weeks later and she also ran out an impressive winner. He also became the first rider since Kieren Fallon in 2003 to notch up 200 winners this term, comfortably holding off the title challenge of Ryan Moore.
Hughes recorded another landmark just last weekend when he rode his first Breeders’ Cup winner on the Charlie Hills-trained Chriselliam at Santa Anita in America.
Hughes said “I’ve been on some wonderful horses and I’m under no illusions I wouldn’t be champion jockey without the Richard Hannon stable behind me. My ambition from Day 1 has been to win a Derby. I’ve haven’t had enough rides in it to win it yet.
“This is my busiest time of the year. I’m off to South African, Japan, India and Hong Kong. I shall then have three weeks with the family in Barbados and be back in February.”
Hannon claimed his fifth trainers’ title while Jason Hart was named champion apprentice.
Meanwhile, legendary jump jockey Tony McCoy produced the kind of swashbuckling ride for which he has become so famed as he secured his 4,000th winner over jumps at Towcester last week. A huge crowd descended on the Northamptonshire circuit – which as always offered free admission – in the hope of seeing history being made and McCoy was in no mood to let his supporters down.
McCoy had made no secret of his desire to secure his 4,000th winner in the green and gold silks of JP McManus, to whom he has held a retainer for the last nine years, and the delight on his face as he passed the post in front was clear.
With McManus, O’Neill and his family on hand to immediately join in the celebrations, McCoy admitted it was a fairytale end to his quest to reach the incredible milestone.
McCoy said: “It was just amazing, it couldn’t have worked out any better. To do it for Jonjo and the McManus’s is brilliant as they’ve been so good to me. It was always hopefully going to be in JP’s colours.” – extracts from Press Association.