Born: 11th Jan 1973 Height: 5ft 10in Lowest Riding Weight: 8st 6lb
Favourite Course: Goodwood.
Richard Hughes retired as a jockey after the Qatar Goodwood Festival 2015 having spent more than 25 years in the saddle. He was one of the most respected and revered jockeys in the weighing room, having won major races right across the world as well as three Champion Jockey titles. Richard has won two British Classics, but had to wait until 2013 when Sky Lantern, trained by his father-in-law Richard Hannon Snr, won the QIPCO 1000 Guineas. He quickly doubled that tally a month later winning the Investec Oaks aboard Talent.
Although retired from the saddle, his horsemanship will not be lost from the industry as he will follow in the footsteps of his late father Dessie Hughes.
Richard had first winner as a trainer in November 2015, he has now amassed over 200 winners including 4 wins in France and 1 in Sweden. Richard believes his biggest asset is his understanding of the horse from his years being a jockey. Richard regularly rides out and works them when he can, it is here that his ability to judge a horses potential is his biggest benefit to his training career.
“Richard has been a fantastic jockey and we have been great friends for many years. It is great to see him finish his career having been Champion Flat Jockey three times and I am sure that he’ll make an even better trainer.”
First WinnerViking Melody (Roscommon maiden, August 2, 1988)
First UK WinScissor Ridge (Wolverhampton, July 23, 1994)
Group/Grade 1 Win44 (43 on the Flat plus the Irish Champion Hurdle on Cockney Lad in 1997)
Career Rides & AverageOver 16,000 rides, with one win in every 10.
Career Wins in IRL205 (including 190 Flat and 15 over Jumps)
Career Wins in GB 2,437 (Including 11 winners over Jumps and 1 National Hunt Flat race)
British Champion Flat Jockey 2012, 2013, 2014
- Son of Irish Jumps jockey and trainer Dessie Hughes, Richard began riding ponies aged five, and won his first pony race two years later.
- Apprenticed to his father, he rode six winners in his first season, when just 15.
- Richard rode 70 winners as an apprentice.
- Was awarded the most improved apprentice of the year in Ireland but had stiff competition from Johnny Murtagh.
- Early in his career Richard rode in Jump races including winning the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in 1997 on - Noel Meade’s Cockney Lad at 10-1.
- He also beat Lester Piggott as an apprentice riding at the Curragh.
- From 2001 to 2007 Richard was retained by the owner/breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah through his Juddmonte Farms operation.
- Richard’s first British Group 1 success came when Oasis Dream (owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah) landed the 2003 Darley July Cup.
- Richard has a style which has been likened to that of Lester Piggott. He is also an epitome of elegance in the saddle and is known for his tactical astuteness.
- Richard said of his hero: “Lester Piggott has always been my racing idol. He was always ultra-confident, stylish, strong, and as a tall jockey - like myself - his backside was so high in the air that it almost pierced the clouds. When I was younger I kept scrapbooks detailing his seasons and big-race wins, and the walls of my room were full of pictures of Lester, cut out from the racing pages of the newspapers - he was one of the main reasons I became a jockey."
- Richard has had a long association with the Hannon Training Team, firstly with Richard Hannon Snr before Richard Hannon Jnr took over the license at the start of 2014. They enjoyed Group 1 successes with Paco Boy, Canford Cliffs and Sky Lantern to name a few.
- On 15 October 2012 Richard equalled Frankie Dettori's record of winning seven races in a single meeting by winning seven out of eight races at Windsor Racecourse.
- It took Richard over 20 years to win a British Classic, but he won the 2013 QIPCO 1000 Guineas aboard Sky Lantern before scoring a second Classic a month later on Talent in the Investec Oaks.
QIPCO 1000 Guineas (2013 Sky Lantern), Investec Oaks (2013 Talent)
Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (2002 Zenda), Prix de Diane (2003 Nebraska Tornado), Poule d’Essai des Poulains (2004 American Post)
Irish 2,000 Guineas (2010 Canford Cliffs)
Richard has a fantastic record at Royal Ascot with 31 career winners - a record that is only bettered by Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore of the current jockeys. These wins comprise of several top-level (Group 1) victories:
Toronado in the Queen Anne Stakes, Sky Lantern winning the Coronation Stakes and Canford Cliffs winning both the St James’s Palace Stakes and the Queen Anne. St James’s Palace Stakes (2010 Canford Cliffs), Jersey Stakes (1995 Sergeyev, 1996 Lucayan Prince, 2011 Strong Suit), King’s Stand Stakes (1995 Piccolo, 2014 Sole Power), Wokingham Stakes (2000 Harmonic Way), Duke Of Edinburgh H’cap (2002 Thundering Surf, 2015 Arab Dawn ), Norfolk Stakes (2002 Baron’s Pit), Wolferton Rated H’Cap (2002 Ulundi), Buckingham Palace Stakes (2002 Demonstrate), Coventry Stakes (2003 Three Valleys, 2009 Canford Cliffs, 2010 Strong Suit), Balmoral Handicap (2003 Deportivo), Ribblesdale Stakes (2003 Spanish Sun), Albany Stakes (2004 Jewel In The Sand, 2010 Memory, 2015 Illuminate), Queen Mary Stakes (2006 Gilded, 2011 Best Terms), Coronation Stakes (2007 Indian Ink, 2013 Sky Lantern), Royal Hunt Cup (2008 Mr Aviator), Chesham Stakes (2008 Free Agent, 2009 Big Audio), Queen Anne Stakes (2009 Paco Boy, 2011 Canford Cliffs, 2014 Toronado), Ascot Stakes (2009 Judgethemoment)
Al Quoz Sprint (2015 Sole Power), Cheveley Park Stakes (2006 Indian Ink, 2014 Tiggy Wiggy), Falmouth Stakes (2010 Music Show), Fillies’ Mile (2013 Chriselliam), Haydock Sprint Cup (2004 Tante Rose), Darley July Cup (2003 Oasis Dream), Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (2003 Oasis Dream, 2014 Sole Power), QIPCO Sussex Stakes (2010 Canford Cliffs, 2013 Toronado), Criterium de Saint-Cloud (2006 Passage Of Time), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (2008 Youmzain), Prix du Cadran (1998 Invermark), Prix d’Ispahan (2001 Observatory), Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (2003 American Post), Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (2003 Nebraska Tornado), Gran Premio d’Italia (1995 Posidonas), Premio Vittorio di Capua (1996 Mistle Cat), Derby Italiano (1996 Bahamian Knight), Lockinge Stakes (2010 Paco Boy, 2011 Canford Cliffs), Champagne Stakes (2011 Trumpet Major, 2012 Toronado), Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (2012 The Fugue), National Stakes (2013 Toormore), Sun Chariot Stakes (2013 Sky Lantern), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO (2013 Olympic Glory)