#JockeyChamps update: Hughes gets title tilt underway

It may have taken a couple of weeks longer than expected, but defending champion Richard Hughes is now firmly in the Stobart Jockeys’ Championship shake-up after seven wins in the past eight days catapulted him to third place in the standings.

A double at Windsor last night took his tally of winners to 20 from 120 rides (16.67% strike rate) to leave Hughes four wins behind William Buick, who is second, and six behind current leader Ryan Moore.

Six of Hughes’ wins in the past eight days have come for the trainer with whom he has such an affinity, Richard Hannon, but his success with Hughie Morrison’s Vent De Force shows Hughes still has additional rides available in his quest to defend his crown for the final time before he turns his hand to training next season.

At the top of the pile, Moore (26 wins) now leads Buick (24 wins) after notching up seven victories of his own in the past week to Buick’s four. Moore’s strike rate of 23.01% is now the best in the top 10 and his brilliant run of form has seen him nominated for the inaugural Jockey of the Month award, alongside James Doyle and Paul Mulrennan. With both Moore and Buick set for fancied rides at this weekend’s Investec Derby Festival at Epsom, there is a good chance both will be adding to their current totals.

Mulrennan was shortlisted after setting the early pace in the championship title race and he has continued that good form to sit fifth in the standings after a win aboard Get Knotted at Carlisle last night sent him to 18 winners from 103 runs (17.48% strike rate).

It was also a productive week for another former champion jockey Paul Hanagan, who recorded a remarkable nine victories to put himself in sixth position as his championship bid was put back on track. Four of those wins came in a solitary afternoon at Haydock on Saturday as the Merseyside jockey steered Jumeirah Glory, Miss Marjurie, Adaay and Don’t Touch to success to follow up his win aboard Craggaknock the day before at the same track.

His win aboard Muthmir in France on Sunday might not have affected his championship chances, but it was indicative of a man in tremendous form.

Despite the plethora of victories, Hanagan is still one triumph behind Pat Cosgrave in fourth position, who continues to rack up the winners away from the spotlight. His success at Windsor last night (Besharah) was his fifth win in eight days after landing a double at Lingfield on this day last week. A 16/1 success with Dean Ivory’s Taqula Night will be the highlight of the past week as Cosgrave continues his good steady form this season, having had just 84 rides to give himself a strike rate of 22.62%.

Five wins in 24 hours propelled PJ McDonald into the top 10 after the Yorkshire jockey scored at Newcastle on Friday before firing in a 70/1 treble at Catterick later that day. That success was followed by a Saturday winner at York as Clever Cookie put himself in the Ascot Gold Cup picture with a smart success.

Silvestre De Sousa’s return from suspension will give him chance to make up the ground he has lost and the Brazilian has slipped to eighth whilst on the sidelines with 16 wins from 81 rides (19.75%). A better strike rate ensures he is higher than Doyle (16 wins from 93 rides, 17.2%) and Adam Kirby (16 wins from 107 rides, 14.95%) who round off the top ten as the first month of the Stobart Jockeys’ Championship concludes.

To view the current standings, check out the Stobart Jockeys’ Championship.

(Figures correct as of 10:45am, Tuesday 2 June May 2015.)