Richard Hughes (jockey)

Richard Hughes (born 11 January 1973) is a retired Irish jockey and current racehorse trainer who is based at Lambourn in Berkshire, England. Born in Dublin, he is the son of successful National Hunt trainer, Dessie Hughes. Hughes became British flat racing Champion Jockey in 2012[1] and retained that title in 2013, when he rode more than 200 winners in the season, and again in 2014.

Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes (from Hanshin Racecourse)
OccupationRacehorse trainer
Born (1973-01-11) 11 January 1973
Dublin, Ireland
Career wins1828 (as of 31/12/12)
Major racing wins
UK and Ireland Group 1 Races
1,000 Guineas, Cheveley Park Stakes, Coronation Stakes, Falmouth Stakes, Haydock Sprint Cup, July Cup, King's Stand Stakes, Lockinge Stakes (twice), Nassau Stakes, Nunthorpe Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes (twice), St. James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas, Matron Stakes, Epsom Oaks
Racing awards
British flat racing Champion Jockey 2012, 2013, 2014
Significant horses
Canford Cliffs, Oasis Dream, Paco Boy, Sky Lantern

Riding career

Hughes started pony racing aged seven, having his first win aboard Chestnut Lady in a six furlong race at Wexford.[2] His first ride in the senior ranks was in a six furlong maiden at Naas on 19 March 1988, on a debutant called Scath Na Greine. He finished tenth.[2]

Since the end of 2013, Hughes' main provider of rides has been trainer Richard Hannon Jr., who is also his brother in law. For many years before that he rode for Hannon's father, Richard Hannon Sr. and from 2001-07 he was also retained by the owner Prince Khalid Abdullah. Hughes is 5'10" in height, very tall for a flat jockey, similar to Tony McCoy; both men have to maintain his weight significantly below natural levels, even for a jockey. His larger natural size means he cannot ride horses carrying light weights, reducing his winning opportunities. Hughes is respected for his riding style of 'nursing' horses along, getting horses to respond and run into the race without appearing to physically ride them hard.

In October 2011, Hughes received a five day ban for hitting Swift Blade six times in the final furlong and a few days later got a ten day ban for More Than Words too many times with the whip inside the final furlong in a race at Kempton.[3] The ban was the first of its kind to be implemented after a change in the rules regarding horse welfare. On 13 October 2011, it was announced that Hughes was giving up his racing licence and quitting the sport out of protest at the ban.[4]

Hughes did not follow up on this threat and on 15 October 2012 he equaled Frankie Dettori's record of winning seven races in a single meeting by winning seven out of eight races at Windsor Racecourse.[5][6][7]

The following month, he claimed his first British flat racing Champion Jockey title with 172 winners over the season.[8][9][10][11]

In May 2013, after a long wait, he won his first British Classic on Sky Lantern in the 1,000 Guineas. He then won his second a month later on Talent in the Oaks. On 21 June 2013, he won the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on 1000 guineas winner Sky Lantern.

At the end of the 2013 British flat racing Hughes was crowned Champion Jockey for the second consecutive season. His total of 208 winners made him the first jockey to ride more than 200 winners in a British flat season since Kieren Fallon in 2003.[12] He retained the title again in 2014, before retiring and taking up training.

Personal life

Hughes is married to wife Lizzie and the couple have two son's and a daughter. Outside of racing he enjoys playing a lot of golf.

British career wins


  • 1996 1
  • 1997 29
  • 1998 53
  • 1999 89
  • 2000 102
  • 2001 91
  • 2002 126
  • 2003 121
  • 2004 73
  • 2005 124
  • 2006 113
  • 2007 139
  • 2008 127
  • 2009 144
  • 2010 192
  • 2011 130
  • 2012 174
  • 2013 208

Major wins

Great Britain



  • Bangalore Derby – (1) – Moonlight Romance (2010 – Summer season)
  • Indian 1,000 Guineas – (1) – Jacqueline (2009)
  • Indian 2,000 Guineas – (4) – Smart Chieftain (1999), Autonomy (2008), Jacqueline (2009), Ocean And Beyond (2010), Pronto Pronto (2011)
  • Indian Derby – (2) – Smart Chieftain (2000), Jacqueline (2010)
  • Indian Oaks – (2) – Jacqueline (2010), Moonlight Romance (2011)



United States

See also


  1. "Hughes crowned Champion Jockey". Sporting Life. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. Hughes, Richard; Mottershead, Lee (2012). A Weight Off My Mind. Newbury, Berkshire: Racing Post Books. ISBN 9781908216069.
  3. "Hughes quits in protest at whip ban". 13 October 2011. Archived from the original on 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  4. Jockey Richard Hughes gives up riding licence in whip rule protest BBC Sport, 13 October 2011.
  5. "Richard Hughes wins seven races at Windsor". BBC Sport. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  6. "Bookies' misery as jockey wins magnificent seven". Irish Independent. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  7. "Richard Hughes claims seven victories at Windsor". RTÉ Sport. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  8. "Veteran Richard Hughes crowned champion Flat jockey". BBC Sport. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  9. "Richard Hughes celebrates jockeys' championship victory at Kempton". The Guardian. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  10. "Hughes joins illustrious list of Irish champions". Irish Independent. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  11. "Hughes is champion after his years of frustration". Mail Online. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  12. "Richard Hughes: Champion jockey retains Flat racing title". BBC Sport. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  13. "Racing Post Profile". Racing Post. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
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