Richard Hughes became only the second jockey to notch up seven winners at one meeting on the same day. Today he won seven of the eight races on the card at Windsor racecourse.
The accumulative odds on all those winners equalled 10.168-1.
He said: “Windsor is a lucky course for me. I am over the moon.”
Hughes will soon be named champion flat jockey for the past season and it is an achievement well deserved and hard earned.
I have over the years seen punters blame him for their horses losing. And, as he will be the first to admit, he has made mistakes in the saddle. Just like any other jockey. Just like any of us. But he does so less often.
To be a professional jockey is one tough job. Few of us would sacrifice what they do. Hughes has long been one of my favourite jockeys. Clever, canny and determined. And a witty and top bloke.
He has, as he is the first to acknowledge, been lucky over the years to be on so many good horses from trainer Richard Hannon, both senior and junior.
But that is only half the story. Hughes also wins on horses for other trainers. Horses some other jockeys would not drive home in first place.
Richard Hughes has got in trouble with stewards and found himself banned for days on end, including this season. That makes his achievement of winning the champion flat jockey title this season all the more incredible.
He has had his share of injuries in years gone by and narrowly missed out on the title last season when absence meant he had to concede defeat to jockey Paul Hanagan. So Hughes knows only too well what colleague and friend Ryan Moore felt like this season when, at a crucial stage in the race to be champion flat jockey, Moore suffered a fall that saw him out of racing for many weeks.
Hughsie said: “It’s a fabulous day – you can only dream of these days. When I won on Embankment I thought I had a real chance.
“I came back and looked at the paper and saw I had some good chances. Then Ryan [Moore] said to me: ‘ride mine in the last’, as he’d just flown back from Canada. He was looking a bit pasty but he’s one of my greatest friends, and that proves what a gentleman he is.
“Every day my son, Harvey, says: ‘How many winners today Dad, six or seven?’
I tell him that won’t I ride that many winners, but today I did.
“What a thrill. This is a great day.”
photos:- Top, Richard Hughes back home after his 7 wins. Left, his children present him with this drawing.