Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Super seven for Hughes at Windsor

Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes left bookmakers running for cover at Windsor on Monday after nailing a remarkable 10,168-1 seven-timer.

The Irishman gave a hint of what was to come when he won the first two races on the eight-race card for his father-in-law Richard Hannon. Pivotal Movement (13-8 joint-favourite) landed the EBF Joe Ward Hill Memorial Maiden Stakes, after which East Texas Red (5-2 favourite) claimed the davisbakerycaribbean.com Nursery.

Hughes then donned the famous Khalid Abdullah silks for Amanda Perrett's Embankment (7-1) in the Ladbrokes Game On! Maiden Stakes. The most impressive winner, though, was the Jeremy Gask-trained Magic Street (4-1 favourite), who streaked to a five-length win in division one of the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap.

Hughes said: "I've been down to ride this horse a couple of times but he's been withdrawn. The last time he ran bad on soft ground and Jeremy didn't know how he sat with the horse. He jumped and travelled well today. I won too far, that's the only thing. I 'whooshed' him up there and I thought if I go I'd better really go in case he pulls up, but he didn't pull up."

The afternoon got even better for Hughes when Links Drive Lady made it five out of five for the rider in division two. Hughes bided his time on Dean Ivory's filly, who has been in great form of late. The 5-2 favourite quickened up well in the ground to beat Perfect Pastime by three-quarters of a length.

Although he was out of fortune when Ever Fortune finished third in the eight-and-a-half-furlong handicap, normal business was resumed 30 minutes later when the Hannon-trained Duke Of Clarence (7-4 favourite) outbattled Sheila's Buddy in the Bet In Play With Ladbrokes Handicap.

Hughes said: "He was probably my best ride of the day because he loves that ground. This is a great day."

Mama Quilla then put the seal on an unforgettable afternoon for Hughes when William Haggas' filly won the concluding skybet.com Handicap.Hughes was a late substitute for intended rider Ryan Moore and powered clear of Viola Da Gamba to justify 15-8 favouritism.

Hughes added: "I'm over the moon - it's great to do it. I always said I might do it one day at Windsor, my lucky track. Without Richard Hannon I wouldn't be doing any of it. It's been one thing after another this year and I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people, especially my agent, Tony Hind.

"Ryan was looking a bit pasty but he's one of my greatest friends as well, so that's what a gentleman he is. What a thrill."

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