Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hughes Hopes It's a Weekend to Savour as He Eyes Double

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hughes Hopes It's a Weekend to Savour as He Eyes Double

Article excerpt

Byline: Geoff Lester

LEADING jockey Richard Hughes has set his sights on claiming a memorable win double over the weekend.

Hughes is aiming to help the Irish team retain their Shergar Cup crown at Ascot on Saturday and then hopes to win the Group One Phoenix Stakes on board Richard Hannon's Strong Suit at the Curragh the following day.

Hughes, the undisputed king of Glorious Goodwood last week, will skipper Ireland, as he did last year. He will be accompanied by Fran Berry and Pat Smullen and is anxious to lead by example, having taken the Silver Saddle as the top individual points scorer last year.

He said: "The Shergar Cup is a great innovation. It is always fun rubbing shoulders with other top jockeys from all around the world.

"However, the draw is obviously all important. You can only play the cards that you are dealt -- in 2008 we had rubbish horses, yet last year we had a fistful of chances and went there full of optimism.

"This year we have a shot and the bookies have us favourites to win again -- I like my own Christopher Wren and Emerging Artist, while I can mark Fran's card on how to ride Gene Autry in the last."

Casting his eyes towards Sunday, Hughes said: "Strong Suit is the one that matters most. He is a seriously good horse and already as short as 6-1 favourite for next year's 2000 Guineas. …

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