Jockeys Hughes, O’Brien to Ride at Cheltenham Festival
It’s not something racing fans see everyday, especially on this side of the Atlantic, but it appears that jockeys Richard Hughes and Joseph O’Brien will both be competing during the Cheltenham Festival, which is set to begin March 12.
Hughes, who was the champion jockey in England in 2012, last rode in jumps races during the 2008-2009 season. He has ridden at Cheltenham in the the past, although he has yet to win. Hughes’ biggest success over jumps came in 1997, when he piloted Cockney Lad to victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle. Hughes’ father, Dessie, won the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup as a jockey and is now a successful trainer.
Both Hughes and O’Brien will ride on Wednesday in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, which will be contested over two miles on the flat. Although this race is not over fences, both riders will need to have a jumps license.
Hughes is scheduled to ride Sgt Reckless for trainer Mick Channon, while O’Brien will pilot Shield for his father, Aidan.