Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hughes ban opens up championship

The Jockeys Championship looks wide open this year in the UK following the decision to uphold the 50-day ban that Richard Hughes picked up in India last month.
Hughes may have to give his rivals a head start in the early stages of the campaign and is likely to be trailing by the time Glorious Goodwood comes around in August.

Despite the ban, Hughes is amongst the favourites due to the number of quality of rides he is expected to pick up off his father-in-law Richard Hannon. He will miss the trials for the Guineas in April where he was set to ride Harbour Watch before the opening Classic of the season at Newmarket for colts run over 1m and fans of online Goodwood betting will be wondering if he can get back in the hunt.

Last year’s Jockeys Championship winner Paul Hanagan will be aiming for his third consecutive success this time around. He has now signed for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum following the retirement of Richard Hills last month. The Yorkshire-based jockey was the number one rider for Richard Fahey but has now moved down to Newmarket ahead of the new season beginning on Saturday with the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster.

Silvestre De Sousa finished second behind Hanagan in 2011. The Brazilian is now employed by the Godolphin along with Frenchman Mickael Barzelona. The pair will ride for trainers Saeed bin Suroor and Mahmood Al Zarooni who look after the horses for the yard.

Ante-post favourite Ryan Moore and former winner Kieron Fallon have been supported for the Championship which gets underway this weekend. Both will have key rides at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood and may just benefit from the movement between yards earlier this year.

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