Richard Hughes: has not ridden at Kolkata so far this winterPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/racing)
Hughes chasing big-race double at Kolkata
India: Champion jockey Richard Hughes has the opportunity to snare a top-level double Saturday with rides in both The Stayers Cup and the Oasis Star Sprinters Cup on the first day of the National Championships of Horseracing at Kolkata.
Hughes rides Astapi (Altash Ahmed) in The Stayers Cup, a 1m7f Group 1, against eight rivals, including Camorra (J S Dhariwal) who will be ridden by David Allan. Native Knight (Narendra Lagad/Dashath Singh) is the local favourite for victory.
Hughes has yet to ride in Kolkata but has a good opportunity in the 6f Group 1 Oasis Star Sprinters Cup where he rides Bullseye (P Shroff).
Hughes told The Hindu newspaper: "In the Sprinters' Cup, my mount Bullseye is in form and should go close."
David Allan (Klipspringer), Martin Dwyer (Sunday Storm) and Jimmy Fortune (Kohinoor Wish) are also in action in the Oasis Star Sprinters Cup, for which 14 runners are set to go to post.
The second day of the National Championships of Horseracing takes place on Sunday and features the Group 1 Super Mile and India Turf Invitation Cup.