Welcome to our profile of 2019-20 National Hunt Champion jockey Brian Hughes:
Name – Brian Hughes
Date of Birth – 27 June 1985
Birthplace – County Armagh
Riding Weight – 9st 13lbs
Big Wins: Ascot Chase, Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase, Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle, Many Clouds Chase, Summit Juvenile Hurdle, Old Roan Chase, Dipper Novices’ Chase, Red Rum Handicap Chase, River Don Novices’ Hurdle, Cleeve Hurdle, Topham Chase and countless other leading jump races.
Hughes wanted to become a flat race jockey during his teenage years and attended the Irish Turf Club’s racing academy.
He spent four years with Irish trainer Kevin Prendergast before weight issues forced him to switch to jump racing.
He gained valuable experience with James Lambe before moving to England in 2005.
Hughes won the Champion Conditional Jockeys’ Title in 2007-08 and years of hard graft earned their reward when reaching the pinnacle of his sport in 2019-20.
Brian Hughes – Key Jockey Stats
After recording his first century of winners in a calendar year in 2014-15, Hughes has become mister consistency.
In 2019-20, Hughes became the first jockey based in the north of England to win the Champion jump jockeys’ title since Jonjo O’Neill in 1980.
He rode 141 winners in a season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, finishing 19 ahead of four-time champion Richard Johnson.
He is now chasing an eighth successive century as he bids to reclaim his title from Harry Skelton.
Brian Hughes – Big Race Wins
The first Grade 2 success for Hughes came with Alfie Flits in the Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock in 2009.
The following year he rode the talented Tidal Bay to victory in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham and won two of Aintree’s major handicaps over the Grand National fences. He won the Topham Chase on course specialist Always Waining and the Grand Sefton aboard Frankie Figg.
He gained his first Cheltenham Festival winner aboard 33-1 shot Hawk High in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle in 2014.
In 2016 he won the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase on Ballyalton for Ian Williams, repeating the feat two years’ later aboard Mick Channon’s Mister Whitaker.
His more recent big race wins include the 2020 Many Clouds Chase on 16-1 outsider Lake View Lad and the 2019 Summit Juvenile Hurdle riding Navajo Pass.
Brian Hughes – Most Famous Victories
The victory of Waiting Patiently in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in February 2018 will always be fondly remembered by Hughes. It was a very emotional day for all concerned, coming the day after the funeral of the horse’s trainer Malcolm with daughter Ruth having taken over the licence. Waiting Patiently defeated two-time race winner Cue Card to extend his winning sequence over fences to six.
Always Waining was one of those freakish horses who only seemed to come good in one race each season. He won the Topham for three successive seasons for trainer Peter Bowen. The second of those victories was under Brian Hughes, storming to a 12 lengths win at odds of 22-1.
Brian Hughes Rides
To check out Brian Hughes booked rides check out today’s racecards and tomorrow’s racecards with various suppliers. If you are looking to place a bet on this great jockey with online betting sites be sure to check our guide to the best gambling sites.
Brian Hughes has a reputation of being one of the hardest working jockeys in the game.
He revelled in winning the champion jockeys’ title and will be leaving no stone unturned in trying to recapture his crown.
Other Top Jockeys
Check out our profiles of other leading jockeys.