Tag Archive for: Dreams Of Home

Brian Hughes completes double century with Perth success

Brian Hughes became only the fourth jump jockey to ride 200 winners in a season after steering Dreams Of Home to victory at Perth on Wednesday.

Ahead of being crowned champion jockey for the second time at Sandown this weekend, Hughes joined Sir Anthony McCoy, Richard Johnson and Peter Scudamore as a double centurion with just four days of the campaign remaining.

It has long since been inevitable that the 36-year-old would regain the title he lost to Harry Skelton last term, having ridden nearly 100 winners more than the reigning champion and Sam Twiston-Davies.

He became the first northern-based jockey to ride 150 winners in a season when booting home a four-timer at Carlisle in February and has had his eyes firmly fixed on the 200 ever since.

After moving within one of the milestone with a double at Sedgefield on Tuesday, Hughes headed to Scotland with a strong book of five rides.

And while he pulled up Laffite and finished last of five on Uncle Alastair in the first two races, he made it third time lucky aboard Dreams Of Home in the Bob Nelson Capercaillie Handicap Chase.

Sent straight to the lead, Donald McCain’s 6-4 favourite had most of his rivals on the stretch early in the home straight and had just enough in the tank to hold Coach Carter at bay by half a length.

Brian Hughes (centre) with fellow 200-club members Sir Anthony McCoy and Peter Scudamore
Brian Hughes (centre) with fellow 200-club members Sir Anthony McCoy and Peter Scudamore (Jane Barlow/PA)

Hughes paid tribute to his agent Richard Hale and admitted his aim at the start of the year was 100 winners, not 200.

He told Great British Racing: “It’s not something I ever thought I could achieve. It wasn’t a target (at the beginning of the season).

“It’s always the target to ride 100 winners and 100 winners is a fair achievement, so it just shows the luck I’ve had and the support I’ve had from the trainers to get to double that.

“My agent has done a fantastic job getting me on the horses I ride because he organises everything day to day for me, so without him I’d be struggling.”

Brian Hughes will crowned champion again on Saturday
Brian Hughes will be crowned champion again on Saturday (Jane Barlow/PA)

Hughes is nearly 100 winners ahead of Sam Twiston-Davies in the jockeys’ championship and after losing his title to Harry Skelton last term, the rider admitted the defeat gave him plenty of motivation for this year.

He added: “Last season hurt a lot to get beat. This season I set out with an intention and I gave it a good shot. I owe a huge thanks to everyone’s support.

“I’ve just got my head down, I haven’t been complacent all year and I won’t start this week. I am hungry for it, last season fuelled me more so. I am more determined and more focused on taking every opportunity.”

Hughes’ title triumph came in a season that was slightly truncated due to the coronavirus pandemic and he added: “I will appreciate winning more (this time), not that I didn’t appreciate it the first time.

“That was the disappointing part of that season, we didn’t see the season out and I felt I had a point to prove, that I was good enough to be champion jockey.”

(Left to right) Harry Skelton, Sir Anthony McCoy, Brian Hughes, Willie Carson and Peter Scudamore at Perth
(Left to right) Harry Skelton, Sir Anthony McCoy, Brian Hughes, Willie Carson and Peter Scudamore at Perth (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Perth crowd gave Hughes an enthusiastic reception, with his fellow riders and valets applauding him back into the winner’s enclosure.

He told Racing TV: “I’m not a very emotional person but I must admit that touched me. Everyone came out and cheered me in and I was a bit taken aback to be fair.

“I really appreciate people’s good wishes and a lot have wished us well the last couple of weeks and here today – I really appreciate it.”

Scudamore and McCoy were on hand to witness Hughes’ victory, along with Flat legend Willie Carson and Skelton – with all five lining up for a photo.

Hughes added: “I don’t buy too many pictures – but I think I’ll have to buy that one!”

Dreams Of Home on his way to a landmark win for Hughes
Dreams Of Home on his way to a landmark win for Hughes (Jane Barlow/PA)

Hale believes Hughes has yielded the rewards for his hard work this term.

He said: “He’s a thorough professional, his appetite for it is amazing and he’s got what he deserves.

“His commitment to it is second to none – 200 winners is a great achievement and it’s so hard to do.

“Things have been in his favour this year with the weather and Donald’s form but even so, it’s still an amazing achievement.

“Winners fuel him and hopefully more big winners will come too as they really give him a kick.

“He’ll be almost embarrassed, knowing Brian, to see his name next to the others (Scudamore, McCoy, Johnson) but he deserves it – I’m as pleased as punch for him.”

Red-hot Hughes reaches landmark century at Ayr

Brian Hughes became the fastest northern-based jump jockey to reach 100 winners in a season with victory on Dreams Of Home at Ayr.

The 36-year-old has been in tremendous from day one of the campaign in his sterling effort to regain the title he won in 2019-20 from Harry Skelton.

He began the day 42 winners clear of nearest pursuer Sam Twiston-Davies, and took his tally to three figures when scoring on Dreams Of Home (11-8 favourite) in the Coral Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

Having his second run over fences, the Donald McCain-trained five-year-old triumphed by five and a half lengths from Fete Champetre, who ruined his chance with a mistake at the final fence.

Hughes told Great British Racing: “It’s great to reach 100 winners already this year. It’s always the first big target to tick off when you set your goals at the start of the season, so to achieve it in November is really encouraging.

“The five-timer at Musselburgh (in October) was the highlight. They don’t come around too often those days so you have to enjoy them when you have them.”

He added: “The ultimate goal remains reclaiming the championship. Anything can happen during the season, so there is no room to let up from my perspective. I will keep pushing towards the next milestone and continue to ride as many winners as possible.”