Brian Hughes says rising fuel prices could cause jockeys problems getting to racecourses


Rising fuel prices could affect jockeys travelling to races:

There is a real feeling that the rising fuel prices could affect jockeys travelling to races.

I filled up today and it was £1.93 per litre. I’m in a fortunate position, where I’m going to meetings for multiple rides but if I was coming for just one ride that would make it awfully expensive, so I think the lads that aren’t in that position are worried.

I spoke to my agent about not going for one ride as it wouldn’t really pay. You couldn’t travel the distance for one ride, it’s just not viable.

The cost of everything is going up and it is a worry. Everyone is conscious of it.

We have had a small increase in the riding fee but only in line with general inflation, and then you see the fuel prices just going through the roof again and it doesn’t cover it.

Brian Hughes

Championship rivals:

It’s very early in the season to start thinking of rivals and that sort of stuff.

I had a good May, I think this month has been a bit quiet and I’m a couple of winners behind Sean Bowen but there’s a lot of lads going well including Adam Wedge and Harry Skelton.

It’s very early in the year to start thinking of Championship rivals. It’s the best part of 11 months to go so you see these small fields and it’s whoever has the horses in these races.

A couple of good days can swing it in someone else’s favour. That’s just the way it goes really, it’s whoever has the best summer horses to ride really.

Minella Trump:

Minella Trump is slowly becoming a Perth legend. He hasn’t won as many races round there as Amalfi Doug, who finished second in the race after, but he’s getting close.

He’s not very big but he’s been fantastic. He’s only been beaten once in 10 starts and that was really down to the track and the ground at Ludlow, but even then he was still second. He’s been very consistent and while he likes Perth, he’s won at other tracks too. 

I don’t know what the immediate plans are with him because it depends on where he is going to be able to get in. There are a couple of races for him at the end of the month but whether or not he’s going to have a holiday I’m not sure. Obviously with the Perth Gold Cup in the bag he’ll just be off the mark of 145 and there’s very limited opportunities to run a horse with his rating in the summer.

I didn’t expect his rating to go this far so I don’t know how much higher it could go. He is very straight forward, and he does what you ask him, he’s a good jumper, he travels, he sits, he doesn’t pull and he’s very uncomplicated. He’s made the running, he’s dropped in, he goes anywhere in a race, he’s very push button which is nice.

Aintree and Hexham:

I’m riding one for Emmet Mullins in the 2m½f juvenile hurdle (6:03pm), called All In Peder but I don’t know too much about him so we’ll see how he goes on the day.

Hurricane Alley goes in the 2m½f handicap hurdle (7:48pm), he won last time out at Bangor so comes here with every chance.

In the 2m handicap chase, I ride Armattiekan (8:23pm) who was second the last day at Bangor and there’s only four runners in this so there must be every possibility of him going close.

Taragrace bumped into a bit of a winning machine in Merry Berry when she came second at Aintree last time, so the track is obviously not an issue for her and she’s only stepping up half a mile which we think will suit. Hopefully she has a big chance in the 3m½f handicap hurdle (8:53pm).

I’ve got five rides at Hexham on Saturday, with the first being Onward Route in the 2m novices’ hurdle(1:55pm), who I’ve ridden plenty and been placed on plenty. I felt the last time when he fell he would’ve won. He’s been given plenty of time to get over that and if he puts his best foot forward with a clear round of jumping I’d like to think he’d have every chance. 

I’ve got one in the 2m4f novices’ chase (2:30pm) for Maurice Barnes in Saint Arvans, he won last time out over two miles at Cartmel and I’d like to think in a three runner race he’s got a strong chance.

With Johnsons Blue in the 2m7½f handicap hurdle (3:45pm), I picked up the ride because Tom Midgley can’t do the weight. He looks progressive, he’s won three out of his last four and was second on the other occasion. He’s won twice at this track and Hexham is the sort of track where course form is what you want because it is undulating, and a lot of horses won’t handle it.

In the 3m handicap chase (4:20pm) I ride Good Man Vinnie. I was third on him at Bangor in a better race than this. He’s obviously well handicapped off his old form, but he has been out of form recently. He’s three pounds lower and I think a stiffer track should play to his strengths. If he can reproduce any of his old form, you’d like to think he’d go fairly close in the .

I’ve won on Strong Team before who goes in the 2m handicap hurdle (4:55pm), and he’s got course form, but you’d have to say he’s been running fairly poorly as of late so he would need to really step up his game to get involved.