Brian Hughes, who is based in Cleveland, has ridden 109 winners at Northern Racecourses so far this season, 51 more than second-placed Sean Quinlan (58) and 65 ahead of third-placed Danny McMenamin (44) who is set to be crowned Champion Conditional Jockey this Saturday at Sandown Park.
The Northern Jump Jockey of the Year is determined by which jockey rides the most winners during the jumps season (this year because of covid: 1st July 2020 to 24th April 2021) at the 15 British jumps racecourses from Market Rasen northwards.
Amongst his 109 victories on Northern soil, the 35-year old secured notable successes in December, firstly with Lake View Lad in the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase at Aintree and then aboard Sam’s Adventure in the Betfair Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at Haydock Park.
Upon receiving his award at Perth earlier today, Hughes said: “The support I continue to receive from those back home makes my job and achievements possible. It has been a challenging year but British racing has survived and thrived during the pandemic; and I am immensely proud of our sport for safely providing live entertainment for so many fans to enjoy during lockdown.”
20-year-old McMenamin, who is also based in Cumbria, paid tribute to Hughes: “I can’t say enough good things about Brian. I have a huge amount of respect for him and the way he rides. He has been dominating northern racing for a while – we’re all chasing him up north! He’s a champion every year because of his dedication and his tactical way of riding. He always in the right place at the right time.”
Trainer, Donald McCain, for whom Hughes has claimed 47 wins for this season and therefore his most successful trainer partnership of the campaign, said: “Brian has been a stand-out rider in the north of England for a number of years. It was plain for all to see, which is why I asked him to come and join the team, and I’m delighted that he accepted it. His dedication and work ethic is second to none and he’s a shining example of how the job should be done.”
Hughes has ridden 141 wins in total this season and therefore ten behind leader Harry Skelton in the race to become 2020/21 Champion Jump Jockey. The season concludes this Saturday 24th April at the bet365 Jump Finale at Sandown Park.