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.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn