Brian Hughes Stays Level On 96 with Johnson

Brian Hughes

Brian Hughes has stated it would be the biggest and best achievement of his career if he was to become champion jumps jockey this season and he holds every chance this season currently locked on 96 winners after Tuesday's racing.

Last weekend was the turning point for the jockey, who is still not thinking about the competition until the new year, when Hughes landed a four timer at Carlisle and it put him level with the four time winning jockey.

After both riding at Catterick and Fakenham on Tuesday and grabbing a winner a piece they stay level on 96 winners a piece with the leaderboard for the jockeys title being the closest it has been since 2003-04, when Johnson trailed 20-time champion jockey Sir Anthony McCoy by three winners before going on to lose by 21.

Hughes spoke to the Racing Riot Podcast and said: "Everybody wants to be champion jockey.

"That's the dream when you're starting out as it's the pinnacle. You start off as best you can at the beginning of the year and I'm closer at this point of the season than I have been before.

"The championship is not really at the forefront of my mind. Every jockey just tries to do their day-to-day job and ride as many winners as they can. You can't try too hard on horses or be distracted looking over your shoulder at this early stage of the season.

"I've always said if I was in contention in the new year, then I might have a chance and become more focused on it. It would be my greatest achievement if it were to happen. 

"For now there's no added pressure. As you get older you become more experienced and I try not do do anything differently."

Last season at this stage of the jumps season Hughes had ridden 100 winners, four more than his current title and was 48 behind Richard Johnson which just shows how tough it has been this year, Harry Skelton was also second with 124 winners at this stage.