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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Hughes the daddy - long journey pays off for hard-working rider

Brian Hughes: no lie-in after an exhausting day
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There's no rest for an in-demand jump jockey, not even one who's fresh back from a ten-hour round trip – ask Brian Hughes.

He broke new ground on Saturday by scoring on the Tom Gretton-trained two-mile chaser Kauto Riko at Taunton, the 23rd different course at which he's ridden a winner in Britain this season.


Replay and result of Kauto Riko's win at Taunton


Back at his North Yorkshire base 24 hours later, he revealed: "I thought I'd have a lie-in this morning but my four-month-old son made sure that wasn't going to happen!"

Hughes, who is in third place in the Stobart jockeys' championship with 89 winners, was making his first visit of the season to Taunton, a track where he's had only three previous mounts in the past five seasons.

He bypassed the Peter Marsh Chase card closer to home and said: "I  had only one ride at Haydock, and that was Donna's Diamond who was a 20-1 shot, and I'd won on Kauto Riko the time before and I thought he was progressive – one was 6-4 favourite and one was 20-1 so it was a no-brainer really.

"It would have been a miserable drive back if he'd fallen at the first, especially as the horse I got off won at Haydock, but as it turned out everyone was happy!"

Brian Hughes scores closer to home on Kauto Riko at Newcastle in December

It's a long way to Taunton

It's a 300-mile trip to Taunton and Hughes said: "I set off at 5.30am and it was a five-hour drive, then I got back after 9pm.

"I normally drive myself but I've got a lad who's started doing a bit of driving for me on those long trips. I drove up to Musselburgh myself the previous day and to Ludlow on Thursday."

Travelling to three different corners of the country in three days would not have put him off driving to the fourth had an opportunity risen at Fakenham on Monday.

"I didn't have any rides, I'd have gone if I'd had one," the jockey said.

"When people are ringing asking you to ride their horses, you don't really want to be turning them down because there might be a day that comes when they don't want you – then you will be staying at home!"


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There might be a day that comes when they don't want you - then you will be staying at home!
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