Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hughes Is Flat out to Topple Frankie

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hughes Is Flat out to Topple Frankie

Article excerpt


RICHARD HUGHES, one of the tallest Flat jockeys, is lean and hungry for a New Year assault on the winner's enclosure.

Known in the weighing-room as 'The Window Cleaner' because of his 5ft 9in frame, he hopes to use his size to help grab some top National Hunt rides and follow in the footsteps of Lester Piggott, Cash Asmussen and Jimmy Lindley, who all rode over jumps in their time.

At present he is enjoying a hectic run-up to Christmas, riding on the allweather tracks that help all those associated with Flat racing earn a living through the winter months.

Hughes will return to his native Ireland for a short break on Thursday but will be back in action on the allweather at Wolverhampton, Southwell and Lingfield early next week.

Top of his agenda next year, though, is the turf Flat jockeys' title but riding the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival in March would come a close second. Helping him achieve these goals is his new agent, Geoff Lester.

Lester, who takes over from Tony Hind, said: "Richard has ridden in the bumper (National Hunt Flat race) at the Festival and has always been keen to go back there with his National Hunt background."

Hughes, 31, started his career as a jump jockey in Ireland and rode Cockney Lad to victory in the 1997 Irish Champion Hurdle. However, he also has a lot to look forward to on the turf in the summer.

Lester added: "On the Flat he has the added incentive of The Queen's Forward Move, who is trained by his father-in-law Richard Hannon.

"This is a high-class candidate for a stable which has had a lot of Guineas runners but has been short of Derby challengers."

Hughes can't wait to get back on the horse. He said: "Forward Move is a machine and a proper Derby hope."

There is a saying in racing that "long, tall, thin boys break in half ". …

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