Brian Hughes: Great Start to the New Season So Far

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Former Champion Jumps Jockey Brian Hughes previews his rides at Kelso this Saturday exclusively for MansionBet.

Brian Hughes, champion jump jockey.

I’ve had a busy start to the new 2021/22 NH season which seems to be going pretty well so far – I’ve ridden 73 winners and am feeling positive and excited for the year ahead. Jump racing has ramped up a level now and there’s certainly lots to look forward to.

I’m at Kelso tomorrow where I have seven rides…

Saturday 23rd October – Kelso

1.34pm – Creative Control

He’s a horse that I didn’t quite mind last year – he used to go quite nicely at home. He ran OK in a bumper at Catterick first time out and then he would have come on for a lot from his run at Bangor recently. He jumps well and is a horse I’d like to think will run particularly well.

2.09pm – Half Track

He’s not a horse I know a great deal about – he finished 5th in an Irish point to point bumper, he looks like he’s in the better of the two divisions but hopefully he’s a horse who will improve throughout the year regardless of how he runs tomorrow.

2.44pm – Gipsy Lee Rose

She’s a filly I rode a bit last year around Kelso over that trip and over slightly shorter. She was always fairly consistent without getting her head in front. It’s her first run of the year so hopefully she’s fit enough to do herself justice, but I’d be expecting her to run reasonably well, especially off a mark of 104, I don’t think she’s badly handicapped. If she puts it all together, she’ll surely run a similar type of race soon. If it’s not tomorrow it will hopefully be in the not-too-distant future.

3.19pm – Empire De Maulde

He’s a grand big horse who’s improved with every run. He won at Aintree a couple of starts back and was then beaten narrowly at Cartmel. The track was probably sharp enough for him and he was giving plenty of weight away to the 2nd who has come out and won again since. He had his wind done since. He was 2nd last time out where the trip was probably on the short side for him so I think this will be more his cup of tea. Yes, it’s a good race, but he’s had a recent run whereas most of the opposition are having their first runs of the season and are carrying plenty of weight, so fingers crossed he’s good and fit. I’d be expecting him to run quite well.

3.54pm – Three Castles

Three Castles is a little horse who’s been running consistently OK on the flat and over hurdles without getting his head in front. I see they’ve re-fitted a visor back on him which had a positive effect on him last season. Again, I’d be more hopeful than confident, because he’s a little horse who has several different ways of running but he’s always there or there abouts.

4.29pm – Away At Dawn

Away At Dawn has done nothing wrong the last couple of runs – he was 2nd at Warwick, and I felt the ground was a bit quick for him. Back on an easier surface at Hexham the next day he was a decent winner, and I don’t think the track will pose any trouble for him. Obviously, he’s got the Ben Pauling horse, Northern Bound, who drops back from 2m4f to 2m, to beat but I’d like to think he’s going there with a good chance. I still think he’s got room for improvement on his handicap rating, so fingers crossed. Donald’s horses are in great form, so I’d be hopeful.

5.04pm – Blueberry Wine

His form has been in and out. The only time I rode him he was 3rd at Chepstow in a race that the winner and the 2nd are a lot higher rated than he is. It looks an open race and on the best of his form, I’d give him every chance, but he does need to pull it all together. He’s had a run in a point to point, but this is his first time over fences under rules and I’m led to believe he’s schooled well at home.

Brian Hughes is the 2020 Champion Jump Jockey and he writes exclusively for the MansionBet Blog every week with previews and tips for upcoming races.

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