After a four-timer at Bath yesterday that took his season's tally to 87 winners, Richard Hughes is as short as 1-3 to take the jockeys' title for the first time, even though Ryan Moore still leads by three. The championship is not decided until early November, with the end of the turf season, but the momentum is now with Hughes.
Hughes was last in the afternoon's first race at Bath on Lady Calantha but then took the next four on Waspy (11-8 favourite), Dynastic (7-2), Griffin Point (13-8 favourite) and Cockney Fire (8-1). Moore was not in action yesterday, nor will he be today, when Hughes has 10 scheduled rides, at Brighton in the afternoon and at Kempton in the evening.
"I'm aware of the figures and they're going in the right direction," said Hughes, three times the title runner-up, "but you can never underestimate Ryan. I went on a day's holiday a couple of weeks ago six behind, and when I came back I was 12 behind!"
The sting in the tail for the Irishman was that his head victory on Cockney Fire came at the cost of a two-day whip ban, which includes Ebor Handicap day at York.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Sir Graham Wade (4.00 Pontefract)
Charlie Em (2.10 Newcastle)