Wednesday 28 September 2016

Hannon calm after Hughes call

Published 18/07/2015 | 12:57

Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes

Richard Hannon will not be making any drastic changes to his riding arrangements for the foreseeable future following the news stable jockey Richard Hughes will retire on the final day of Glorious Goodwood.

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The three-times champion jockey announced earlier in the year this would be his final season, but the 42-year-old has now decided to hang up his saddle earlier than had been anticipated so he can fully concentrate on the training career he is set to embark upon later this year.

The decision means Hannon will loose a major cog in his operation in a fortnight's time, but he is in no rush to appoint an immediate replacement.

Instead, the champion trainer will continue to rely on the jockeys already attached to the stable.

"He's been thinking about it for a while, so it wasn't a surprise to me he has decided to stop after Goodwood and we wish him all the best," said Hannon.

"We're looking forward to Goodwood, we have a good team and we're happy with where we're at.

"We have a lot of good lads in the yard who deserve their chance and we'll continue as we are.

"We're in no rush to do anything different."

One jockey set to profit from Hughes' imminent retirement is Sean Levey.

The South African-born rider, formerly based in Ireland with Aidan O'Brien, has ridden over 100 times for the Hannon stable this season, more than any other jockey apart from Hughes.

Levey is likely to play a more prominent role with Hannon from next month, but the jockey would liked to have seen Hughes carry on until the end of the season in a bid to be crowned champion a fourth time.

Speaking on Channel 4 Racing's The Morning Line, Levey said: "It did surprise me, to be fair. I would have liked to have seen him go for the championship again.

"He's a great jockey and everyone wants to see a great title fight. If he was in it, it would be great for everyone.

"Moving to Hannon's and riding work with him every day has been a great experience for me and I've learnt an awful lot."

Other jockeys with close ties to Hannon include Pat Dobbs and apprentice Cam Hardie.

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