BRIAN Hughes wrote himself into the history books again this week when, at Ayr on Monday, he became the fastest north of England-based jockey to record 100 wins in a season.
The century was reached in the extended two-mile handicap chase on the Donald McCain-trained Dreams Of Home, a five-year-old Jet Away gelding who has now won four of his five racecourse starts in which he was partnered on all occasions by Hughes and was sent off favourite each time.
The bay won his maiden at Moira in October last year on his only outing between the flags.
As mentioned by Graham Cunningham on the Racing TV round-up from Ayr, and confirmed to him by the British Horseracing Authority press office, Hughes’s 100 wins had come “from 463 rides this season without a single whip or careless riding suspension”.
Newtownhamilton-born Hughes partnered 10 winners in the period under review including notching up trebles at Catterick last Friday and at Sedgefield on Tuesday.
Hughes, who had a rare day off on Sunday, partnered one winner on Saturday at Haydock, the McCain-trained Barrichello who landed the opening listed novices’ hurdle as the 7/4 favourite.
Another five-year-old, this Gentlewave gelding has now won twice and been placed second five times in seven runs over hurdles. He too had just the one run in a point-to-point, finishing third at Kirkistown in February 2020.
Also at Haydock, Downpatrick native Danny McMenamin moved on to the 19-win mark for the season when the Ann Hamilton-trained Tommy’s Oscar ran out the 10-length winner of the two-mile, three-furlong handicap hurdle.
This was a fifth hurdle success, all under McMenamin, for the six-year-old Oscar gelding who was twice placed in Tyrella maidens in 2020.
Daire McConville recorded his second success in Britain on Monday when Orchard Grove, who was bringing up a four-timer, landed the two-mile conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Ludlow.
The Portadown native’s previous success had also come on the five-year-old Valirann gelding at Stratford in August but that was when he was riding as an amateur. Orchard Grove is trained by McConville’s boss, Kerry Lee.