Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 20 January 2018

Hughes to quit training ranks in 'next two to three months'

Hughes: "We’re not sad about it, it’s the right decision for us. We gave it our all." Picture credit: David Maher / Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Sandra Hughes will quit training in the next few months, arguing that she cannot make the job pay.

Having taken over the licence from her late father, the legendary Dessie, in November 2014, two Grade One wins with Lieutenant Colonel followed for Gigginstown. She enjoyed her most valuable success with the Katie Walsh-ridden Thunder And Roses in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April 2015.

However, the stable has struggled a bit in the past couple of seasons. She told RTé Racing. "I plan to wind down over the next two to three months. "It's no longer financially feasible to carry on. We're not sad about it, it's the right decision for us. We gave it our all.

Numbers "It's been fantastic and I really feel dad has been with us all the way, but this is a real numbers game and if you find yourself down on numbers, you have a problem. It's been wonderful, it's been fantastic to do it.

"A big thank you to all my staff - without them I wouldn't have been able to do it, they were absolutely fantastic - and thank you to all my owners who supported me and stayed with me until the end. It was fabulous."

Hughes described the victory of Thunder And Roses in the Irish National as "a dream come true". She added: "I was going hoping he'd run really well after his bad run at Cheltenham, but to win was just absolutely magic.

"When he jumped the last, I closed my eyes, and I thought he was going to be placed but Katie was absolutely magic on him."

Regarding her future, Hughes - whose brother Richard, a former jockey on the Flat, trains in England - said she had "no immediate plans".




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