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Richard Hughes (jockey)

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Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes (from Hanshin Racecourse)
OccupationRacehorse trainer
Born (1973-01-11) 11 January 1973 (age 51)
Dublin, Ireland
Career wins1828 (as of 31/12/12)
Major racing wins
UK and Ireland Group 1 Races
1,000 Guineas, Cheveley Park Stakes, Coronation Stakes, Falmouth Stakes, Haydock Sprint Cup, July Cup, King's Stand Stakes, Lockinge Stakes (twice), Nassau Stakes, Nunthorpe Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes (twice), St. James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas, Matron Stakes, Epsom Oaks
Racing awards
British flat racing Champion Jockey 2012, 2013, 2014
Significant horses
Canford Cliffs, Oasis Dream, Paco Boy, Sky Lantern
1000 Guineas
White, dark blue cross belts, sleeves and cap Claret, gold braid, claret sleeves, claret cap, gold tassel Dark blue
Sky Lantern Just The Judge Moth
Epsom Oaks
Grey and white stripes, red cap Claret, gold braid, claret sleeves, claret cap, gold tassel Maroon
Talent Secret Gesture The Lark

Richard Hughes (born 11 January 1973) is a retired Irish jockey and current racehorse trainer who is based at Lambourn in Berkshire, England. Born in Dublin, he is the son of successful National Hunt trainer, Dessie Hughes. Hughes became British flat racing Champion Jockey in 2012[1] and retained that title in 2013, when he rode more than 200 winners in the season, and again in 2014.

Riding career


Hughes started pony racing aged seven, having his first win aboard Chestnut Lady in a six furlong race at Wexford.[2] His first ride in the senior ranks was in a six furlong maiden at Naas on 19 March 1988, on a debutant called Scath Na Greine. He finished tenth.[2]

From 2001 to 2007, Hughes was the retained jockey for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah. For many years up to his retirement on 1 August 2015, his main provider of rides were trainers Richard Hannon Sr. (his own father-in-law) and Richard Hannon Jr. (his brother-in-law), who took over the Hannon stables from his father at the end of 2013.

Hughes is 5'10" in height, very tall for a flat jockey, similar to his contemporary jump jockey Tony McCoy; both men had to maintain their weight significantly below natural levels, even for a jockey. His larger natural size meant he could not ride horses carrying light weights, reducing his winning opportunities. Hughes was respected for his riding style of 'nursing' horses along, getting horses to respond and run into the race without appearing to physically ride them hard.[citation needed]

In October 2011, Hughes received a five-day ban for hitting Swift Blade six times in the final furlong and a few days later got a ten-day ban for hitting More Than Words too many times with the whip inside the final furlong in a race at Kempton.[3] The ban was the first of its kind to be implemented after a change in the rules regarding horse welfare. On 13 October 2011, it was announced that Hughes was giving up his racing licence and quitting the sport out of protest at the ban.[4]

Hughes did not follow up on this threat and on 15 October 2012 he equaled Frankie Dettori's record of winning seven races in a single meeting by winning seven out of eight races at Windsor Racecourse.[5][6][7]

The following month, he claimed his first British flat racing Champion Jockey title with 172 winners over the season.[8][9][10]

In May 2013, after a long wait, he won his first British Classic on Sky Lantern in the 1,000 Guineas. He then won his second a month later on Talent in the Oaks. On 21 June 2013, he won the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on 1000 Guineas winner Sky Lantern.[citation needed]

At the end of the 2013 British flat racing Hughes was crowned Champion Jockey for the second consecutive season. His total of 208 winners made him the first jockey to ride more than 200 winners in a British flat season since Kieren Fallon in 2003.[11] He retained the title again in 2014, before retiring mid-way through the following season and taking up training.[12]

Personal life


Hughes is married to wife Lizzie and the couple have two sons and a daughter. Outside of racing he enjoys playing a lot of golf.[citation needed]

British career flat wins[13]

  • 1994 19
  • 1995 68
  • 1996 62
  • 1997 33
  • 1998 55
  • 1999 95
  • 2000 102
  • 2001 91
  • 2002 126
  • 2003 121
  • 2004 73
  • 2005 124
  • 2006 113
  • 2007 139
  • 2008 127
  • 2009 144
  • 2010 192
  • 2011 130
  • 2012 177
  • 2013 208
  • 2014 166
  • 2015 63

Major wins


United Kingdom Great Britain

France France

India India

  • Bangalore Derby – (1) – Moonlight Romance (2010 – Summer season)
  • Indian 1,000 Guineas – (1) – Jacqueline (2009)
  • Indian 2,000 Guineas – (4) – Smart Chieftain (1999), Autonomy (2008), Jacqueline (2009), Ocean And Beyond (2010), Pronto Pronto (2011)
  • Indian Derby – (2) – Smart Chieftain (2000), Jacqueline (2010)
  • Indian Oaks – (2) – Jacqueline (2010), Moonlight Romance (2011)

Republic of Ireland Ireland

Italy Italy

United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

United States United States

See also



  1. ^ "Hughes crowned Champion Jockey". Sporting Life. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b Hughes, Richard; Mottershead, Lee (2012). A Weight Off My Mind. Newbury, Berkshire: Racing Post Books. ISBN 9781908216069.
  3. ^ "Hughes quits in protest at whip ban". ESPN.co.uk. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  4. ^ Jockey Richard Hughes gives up riding licence in whip rule protest BBC Sport, 13 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Richard Hughes wins seven races at Windsor". BBC Sport. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Bookies' misery as jockey wins magnificent seven". Irish Independent. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Richard Hughes claims seven victories at Windsor". RTÉ Sport. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Veteran Richard Hughes crowned champion Flat jockey". BBC Sport. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Richard Hughes celebrates jockeys' championship victory at Kempton". The Guardian. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Hughes joins illustrious list of Irish champions". Irish Independent. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Richard Hughes: Champion jockey retains Flat racing title". BBC Sport. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Richard Hughes 'one of racing's most significant recent figures'". BBC Sport. 1 August 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  13. ^ "Racing Post Profile". Racing Post. Retrieved 3 February 2023.