Brian Hughes is the Stobart Northern Jump Jockey 2018
As any scientist will tell you, what goes up must eventually come down, but the success of Brian Hughes as the pre-eminent jumps jockey in the north is as yet showing no sign of slowing up.
At the time of writing, Hughes is fast closing in upon his highest-ever seasonal tally of winners, having reached a century for the fourth consecutive year back in January when Mount Mews scored at Doncaster.
“If I can keep riding a century of winners then I know I’m doing okay,” Hughes said at the time. “People ask me a lot about the championship but Richard Johnson is a worthy champion.”
Sadly, only days after the success of Mount Mews at Doncaster, his hugely-respected trainer Malcolm Jefferson was lost to the sport after a battle with illness. The stable’s association with Hughes continues, however, with daughter Ruth having taken over, and in Waiting Patiently, both trainer and jockey have a bright prospect to look forward to next season.
Hughes has been on board for all three of Waiting Patiently’s victories during this campaign, including Grade One success in the Ascot Chase in February, where he valiantly repelled Cue Card in a stirring finish.
His other highlight of the season came at the Cheltenham Festival when Mister Whitaker claimed victory with a last-stride lunge in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase.
That success came for Mick Channon and, as ever, Hughes has teamed up with a huge number of different trainers this season, riding winners for more than 40 individual stables.
His association with Dr Richard Newland saw him land the Durham National at Sedgefield aboard Audacious Plan, while stablemate Catamaran du Seuil was one of four winners (all for different trainers) on the same card at Ayr in November.