York feels the love as Chris Hughes finishes fifth in charity race
There was a lot of love around after the Macmillan charity race at York on Saturday – and it wasn't all for reality TV star Chris Hughes.
Hughes, who shot to fame last summer in ITV's smash-hit show Love Island, was swamped by racegoers – the majority of whom were the opposite sex – throughout the day and was widely praised for accommodating every request for photos.
In the race itself, a tardy start on his mount Carnageo proved costly and he never got into contention before just holding on for fifth, well adrift of a dramatic finish between Sarah Fanning on X Rated and Chris Brownless on Apterix, with the judge calling a dead-heat.
"I missed the break slightly and he showed plenty of heart but the ground was a bit too quick," said Hughes.
"I'm not sure whether I rode out all the way to the line but we won't worry about that. It's definitely been enjoyable and I'd love to do it again."
For the majority of the race the familiar winning formula of 'Fanning from the front' looked like working again as Joe Fanning's wife Sarah dictated the tempo.
"It was all down to the horse, he just took me there," she said. "I could feel one drop away and another one coming and I thought I'd got caught on the line.
"It was an amazing experience, although I'm not sure I'll be doing it again and will leave it to my husband."
He knew the screams of 'Chris' weren't for him, but former jockey Brownless, who took part in the race in tribute to his brother Malcolm, who died from cancer in 2015, couldn't stop smiling after the dead-heat was called.
"He had a good run and his staying power kicked in at the end," he said. "It's been 26 years since I've ridden on the track and it was a big thrill."
The 11 riders raised £110,000 and the charity raceday is always deserving of a lot of love.
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