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Sandra Hughes urges trainers big and small to nominate their staff for awards

Sandra Hughes: the former Grade 1 and Irish Grand National-winning trainer is the new ambassador for the Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards
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Former Grade 1-winning trainer turned Irish Godolphin Stable Staff ambassador Sandra Hughes says she is enjoying her new role and has urged trainers and breeders, regardless of their size, to nominate their staff for this year’s awards.

Hughes, daughter of the late, great Dessie Hughes, took over the licence after her father’s passing in November 2014.

She successfully managed Grade 1 wins in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse and the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown in 2014 with Lieutenant Colonel before winning the BoyleSports Irish Grand National in 2015 with Thunder And Roses. She retired from training last April despite her success.

Speaking in her new role, Hughes spoke about her ambition to encourage trainers and breeders big and small to reward their workers by nominating them for the Irish Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff awards.

She said: “I was delighted to take up this role as it’s a fantastic initiative and I’ve been kept busy these past couple of weeks.

"We were in attendance at the ITBA Expo at Goffs over the weekend. That was great as we were able to meet a lot of industry people in the one area.

“I think people appreciate the personal touch which is what I have tried to provide in the role.

"When people get a letter through the door they might put it to one side and never come back to it but my job is to let trainers and breeders, big and small, know all about the different categories that are available to their staff.”

She added: “There are quite literally categories for every type of worker in the yard and the prize-money on offer really is fantastic and I’d urge any trainer or breeder to nominate their staff as it provides a huge boost in morale.”

Hughes also provided tips for prospective applicants and said: “One thing I would say is to take the time in filling out the forms and really give it the attention it deserves.”

The 2018 awards will take place in the Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim, County Meath on May 21 and nominations are already open.

The awards include 10 categories, which carry total prize-money of €84,000, an increase of €4,500 from 2017 and entries can be made online at

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The prize-money on offer really is fantastic and I’d urge any trainer or breeder to nominate their staff as it provides a huge boost in morale
E.W. Terms