Richard Hughes vows to fight riding ban

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Richard Hughes vows to fight riding ban
The outcome of this season’s Flat jockeys’ title, which has developed into an enthralling battle between Richard Hughes and Paul Hanagan, may have already been decided a month before the season ends.
Not on the track, but in the stewards’ room at an ordinary all-weather card on a Saturday night; precisely the sort of meeting that Hughes would normally avoid because of the risk of receiving a ban that would keep him on the sidelines during one of the major race meetings.
It was for just that reason that the jockey took a week off from riding in Britain prior to the Glorious Goodwood fixture, because he wanted to be clear to ride for trainer Richard Hannon. He was rewarded with nine winners at that prestige meeting and it is that level of success that put Hughes into title contention, which is why he has spent the past two weeks clocking up the miles chasing winners in an attempt to catch Hanagan.
He had whittled down the deficit to single figures and kept up the pressure on Hanagan with a winner at the afternoon card at Newmarket, but it all went when he made his way to the floodlight meeting at Wolverhampton.
Firstly Hughes was handed a one-day band for using his whip with excessive frequency when riding Tallawalla, who finished second behind the ironically-named Miss Whippy, in the sixth race.
Hughes then appeared to have finished the evening on a high, when he won the concluding race by a neck on the well-backed Aviso. But the joy was cut cruelly short when he was summoned before the stewards for the second time. This time he was declared responsible for the scrimmaging that occurred on the run to the first bend and given a six-day suspension for careless riding.
He will be banned from October 16th-22nd, which means Hughes is out for Champions Day at Newmarket, but it was the loss of a chance of winning his first jockeys’ title that really hurt the rider, who intends to launch an appeal. He told the Racing Post: "That is my championship chances gone out of the window. It was good while it lasted but it's gone now. I will be appealing."
Explaining the decision Simon Cowley, the stewards' secretary, said: "In the incident on the bend Richard had looked over his left shoulder as he knew things were going to be tight, but made no attempt to pull his mount off.
"It caused a domino effect on the inside where a number of horses were hampered and as that is in the realms of considerable careless riding the stewards felt they had no option but to hand out the penalty."



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