IT is noon on Thursday and Sandra Hughes is speaking with obvious pride about her brother Richard, who has trained another winner at Lingfield the previous night. Hughesie was a phenomenally gifted rider, becoming champion flat jockey in the UK despite a frame that didn’t just hinder him, but at 5’ 10’’, should have precluded him from having a career on that level at all.
Of course the Hughes grit was made famous long before Richard came on the scene, cemented by his father Dessie, who was a leading National Hunt rider in an era long before safety measures were conceived. He bounced back from many setbacks to become a go-to rider and his time as a trainer had a similar graph. Nothing came easy but it was all the more satisfying standing on Everest’s peak because of that.