Brian Hughes: ‘It would be brilliant to be named champion jockey’

The 34-year-old on his challenge to AP McCoy and Richard Johnson’s hegemony and lying about his weight to get a start in jump racing

If you require your sports to keep you hooked by providing a new, fresh-faced champion at regular intervals, jump racing is not the game for you. Since 1996, only two jockeys have held the title, Sir Anthony McCoy being succeeded on his retirement by Richard Johnson, but a dogged and determined effort at breaking that hegemony is being made by Brian Hughes and it promises to turn the last three months of this season into a day-by-day battle.

Aged 34, Hughes is not as well known as he should be beyond racing’s core supporters, even though a dozen years have passed since he was champion conditional jockey, the brightest talent among the sport’s junior ranks at the time. It is harder for those based in the north to grab the headlines, however diligently and reliably they apply their skill.

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