Hughes refuses to concede title after appeal fails

There are no short cuts on the long and winding road to a jockeys' championship, and the one taken by Richard Hughes at the first bend at Wolverhampton last Saturday night now seems the most fatal of dead ends. Hughes yesterday took his six-day ban for careless riding to the British Horseracing Authority, and while its appeal board returned his deposit, he was otherwise sent away empty-handed. Bookmakers now make Paul Hanagan as short as 1-8 to win his first title.

Hughes is not giving up quite yet, however, and intends to go "all out" to close the gap so that Hanagan remains under pressure during his suspension. "It's frustrating," he said. "But there's nothing I can do about it, and I've just got to keep going as hard as I can up until the day I'm banned. Then I'll have to assess things when I get back."

He promptly rode his 159th winner of the campaign at Newbury, reducing Hanagan's lead to 10, before proceeding to lock horns with his rival back at Wolverhampton last night, making it 160 in the second race.

In many ways, it is fitting that Hughes should have reached a critical crossroads when and where he did. Having enjoyed a long career as an elite rider, he would never previously have been seen dead riding mediocre horses under floodlights on the eve of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. This was the man, remember, who forfeited a week of winners in midsummer to guarantee that suspensions did not separate him from various top-class mounts at Goodwood in July. It has been fascinating, and impressive, to see him rise to the gruelling demands of a title challenge – though Hanagan, having kept himself out of the stewards' room in recent weeks, is entitled to the quiet satisfaction that it was his adversary who blinked first.

It remains conceivable, of course, for Hanagan to let Hughes back into the race through some transgression of his own. But Hughes, having seemed to build inexorable momentum over the previous week or two, must now fear that the issue is out of his hands. It was instructive that he had only appealed against the severity of his ban, rather than protest his innocence. Remember also that he was suspended for a seventh day for a whip offence on the same, fateful card, and he will now sit out 16 to 22 October inclusive – starting with Champions' Day at Newmarket tomorrow week.

Regardless of what happens, he is set to miss the final denouement, at Doncaster on 6 November, to ride at the Breeders' Cup. Gio Ponti, runner-up to Zenyatta last year, seems unlikely to seek a rematch with the unbeaten mare in the Classic this time. With the meeting returning to Churchill Downs, the leading turf performer in North America would have to switch to dirt, and he is duly being tried over a shorter trip at Keeneland tomorrow with a view to tackling the Breeders' Cup Mile, where his rivals would include Paco Boy, ridden by Hughes.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Mango Music (4.30 York) A switch to Richard Fahey is paying immediate dividends for this mare, who beat 32 out of 34 rivals for two races over 24 hours at Ayr last month and remains well treated on her best.

Next best

Emiratesdotcom (6.50 Wolverhampton)

Handicapper has reacted to three wins this summer, but there were signs last time that there may still be more to come and the four-year-old is now back at scene of latest success.

One to watch

Blessed Biata (W J Haggas) was soon behind in a big-field, big-money sales race at Newmarket last Saturday, after just one previous start, but stormed into a close sixth despite meeting traffic.

Where the money's going

Vulcanite, last seen completing a hat-trick in July, is 6-1 favourite from 7-1 with the sponsors for the valuable Ladbrokes Handicap at Ascot tomorrow.

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit