A leading light in the north of England, someone who always draws attention, regardless of what he rides, because he is so good in the saddle. Born in 1985, Hughes has been to the top as a jockey, winning the jockey’s championship in the UK.
Originally from Northern Ireland, the decision to come over to the UK and base himself in the North of the country is one that has given Hughes the career he’s had. This has helped him break a handful of records over the years, and he is showing no signs of slowing down just yet.
The Grand National is a race that hasn’t been kind to him so far, though, with his first ride in the race coming in 2010 onboard Beat The Boys for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He made it as far as the 19th fence before pulling up his mount.
Hughes would have to wait until his seventh attempt at the race in 2018 to complete the course, finishing 11th on Seeyouatmidnight for Sandy Thomson, highlighting just how tough he has found the big one at Aintree.
Brian Hughes Grand National Wins
Brian Hughes has never won the Grand National.
Their best finish to date was in 2018 with Seeyouatmidnight who came 11th.
|2021||Lake View Lad||Fence 1 - Fell||-||Nick Alexander|
|2017||Vicente||Fence 1 - Fell||-||Paul Nicholls|
|2016||O'Faolains Boy||Fence - Non Runner||-||Rebecca Curtis|
|2014||Vintage Star||Fence 26 - Pulled Up||-||Sue Smith|
|2012||Viking Blond||Fence 1 - Fell||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|2011||Tidal Bay||Fence 10 - Unseated Rider||-||Howard Johnson|
|2010||Beat The Boys||Fence 19 - Pulled Up||-||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
Champion National Hunt Jockey
Hughes has been able to put together enough success to win the UK National Hunt Jockeys Championship, not just once, but twice. He first landed the title in the 2019/20 season, winning it with 141 winners, a season that was actually cut short at the end, though he would have won the title anyway.
When winning his first title, he became the first Northern-based jockey to win the title since Jonjo O’Neill won it in 1980 from a Northern base, showing where the dominance in racing has been for the period in between those victories.
Hughes would lift the title for a second time in the 2021/22 season, this time a full season and one where he would go over the 200-winner mark. Only AP McCoy, Peter Scudamore and Richard Johnson have ever had over 200 winners in a season, Hughes became the fourth to complete this.
Winning the Grade One Ascot Chase on board the Ruth Jefferson-trained Waiting Patiently will go down as being Hughes’ biggest winner of his career so far. He has been riding big winners for Jefferson and others from the North when needed, but this is undoubtedly the biggest of those victories.
In 2014, he would ride his first Cheltenham Festival winner when Hawk High would win the Fred Winter.