Monday 20 November 2017

Suspension prevents Hughes being honoured on the double

Jockey Richard Hughes (left) with his trainer father Dessie Hughes after victory with Action Master in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham.
Jockey Richard Hughes (left) with his trainer father Dessie Hughes after victory with Action Master in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham.

A suspension prevented Richard Hughes from riding the winner of the race named in honour of his epic achievement at Windsor last week.

The champion jockey-elect had to serve a ban yesterday but he was still at the track where he produced an extraordinary 10,168/1 seven-timer eight days ago. Track officials were anxious to honour his achievement, hence the naming of the Royal Windsor Hughesie Seven Handicap.

As first-choice rider for Richard Hannon, Hughes would have ridden Aldwick Bay (5/1), but able substitute Pat Dobbs instead drove him three-quarters of a length clear of Snow Trooper.

"Richard normally rides the horse," said Aldwick Bay's owner Ann Williams. "He was second here a fortnight ago and loves the ground and the track."

The Kildare native would in fact have ridden a double, as he also missed the ride on Hannon's Authoritarian (9/2 co-favourite), which took the finale under apprentice Willy Twiston-Davies.

Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori could bid to become champion jockey for a fourth time after ending his long association with Godolphin.

The Italian is going freelance in 2013, having being retained by Sheikh Mohammed's operation for the last 18 years, during which time he won the title three times. Dettori's agent, ex-jockey Ray Cochrane, believes a title bid could be on the cards.

"We'll set our sights on winning most of the big races, if we can do, and we'll have a crack at being champion jockey," he said. "It shouldn't be too hard for him. We have discussed it in the past."

Irish Independent

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