RICHARD Hughes paid tribute to Collingbourne Ducis trainer Richard Hannon after lifting the Flat jockey championship title for the first time on Saturday.
Hughes, the stable jockey for his father in law Hannon at the Everleigh yard, was presented with the trophy at Doncaster after building up an unassailable lead over rivals Silvestre de Sousa and third-placed William Buick.
Hughes was accompanied by his son, Harvey, and had his wife, Lizzie, father and top trainer Dessie Hughes, as well as his mother, Eileen, in attendance, enjoyed a stellar year, totalling 172 winners – De Souza was on 131 – and famously winning seven out of eight races at Windsor last month.
A reliable stream of winners from Hannon consistently boosted Hughes on the way to the top with the likes of multiple winners Libranno, Havana Gold and Toronado among others contributing to his final tally.
Hughes said: “I had 100 winners for Richard alone, which shows how good a trainer he is.
“If I had to single out one day it would have to be at Windsor when I had those seven winners. I had the title tied up by then.
“It’s a great feeling, much better than being runner-up, especially two years ago.
“I’d have walked here if I’d had to. You only get out of this game what you put in – I don’t think I have been lucky, I think I have earned it.
“I worked really hard in September and it paid off. I didn’t want to be going here there and everywhere in October.”
He added: “I’ll have a small bit of a break and a holiday.
“I won’t hand it (the title) over too easy, it’s a privilege to be champion and I’ll go again. I’ll see how I am going by (Glorious) Goodwood.”
- BAYDON’S Tony McCoy reached another landmark in his remarkable career when he became the first to ride 50 winners at Ffos Las in Carmarthenshire at the weekend.