Hughes could skip Breeders' to aid title tilt
Published 02/11/2010 | 05:00
RICHARD Hughes, now five behind Paul Hanagan in the battle for the Flat jockeys' crown in England, could give up the lucrative pickings of the weekend's Breeders' Cup meeting in favour of the professional satisfaction of a first title.
The Flat championship season ends at Doncaster on Saturday, when Hughes is scheduled to partner Paco Boy against the hot favourite Goldikova in the £1.1m Mile at Churchill Downs.
With a ride also booked there on Friday, he had intended to leave Britain after racing on Thursday, but yesterday at Wolverhampton he admitted that those plans are no longer set in stone.
"Staying is a possibility," he said. "I'm really enjoying having a crack at the championship, but I'll wait for a day or two before making a decision."
In recent weeks, Hughes has been making a late thrust at the long-time title leader, but a blank day for the Kildare native and a double for Hanagan on Insolenceofoffice and Blue Moon widened the gap.
The two men appear today at Kempton, each with five rides, but whatever happens, Hughes will not be riding on Friday; by then he will have reached the limit for jockeys of nine different meetings a week.
Meanwhile, connections of Derby and Arc winner Workforce expressed dissatisfaction at delays in his passage between the UK and the US. Michael Stoute's colt, a red-hot favourite for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf, took 18 hours to reach his stable in the quarantine barn at Churchill Downs -- with only eight hours spent actually in the air.
Stoute's travelling head groom Stuart Messenger stressed that Workforce had taken the exertions well, but said "a lesson would have to be learned" from the journey. (© Independent News Service)