Glorious End to Hughes Career and Oaks Triumph For Palmer – 20 July 2015

Richard Hughes to Retire Early and Palmers Covert Raid A Success

This weekend brought us news of the early exit of one of Ireland’s best riding exports to theses shores, and the story of a horse who made the journey in the opposite direction to record a Classic victory.

Goodwood Goodbye For Hughes

One of the most stylish jockeys of the past 20 years has decided to call time on his riding career a little earlier than expected. We knew heading into the current season, that this would be the last in which we would see Richard Hughes competing as a jockey. We were hoping to have him around for the full season, but such is the preparation required for his new challenge as a trainer, Hughes has decided to call it a day immediately after the Glorious Goodwood Festival.

Having ridden winners in Britain, France, India, Ireland, Italy and the USA, Hughes smooth style has been a privilege to watch wherever he has saddled up, going to show you don’t always have to use the hammer and tongs approach to eke the best out a thoroughbred. With over 2000 career wins he deserves his place amongst the very best of modern times.

The Irishman’s greatest successes have come in the twilight of his career, being crowned Champion Jockey for the first time in 2012. He of course followed up in 2013, a year in which he also tasted his first British Classic race success in the 1000 Guineas. He made it a hat-trick of jockey’s titles in 2014, and as he will now go before the end of the current campaign, he will retire as the defending champion.

We will miss him in the saddle but have no doubt he will prove equally as successful in his new endeavour. Good luck Richard, for the rest of this season, and beyond.

No Hiding Hugo’s Covert Accomplishment

Using most, if not all of Covert Love’s earnings for the season to pay the supplementary fee to enter the Irish Oaks, was something of a gamble for Hugo Palmer, particularly considering the Newmarket handler had never previously sent out a Classic winner. As the saying goes though, sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate. And accumulate they did as Covert Love powered home at the Curragh in most impressive style.

Highly touted Irish runners, previous Group winners and fellow British raiders were all left trailing in her wake as she took the step up from Listed to Group 1 level in her formidable stride. Prize money of the best part of £180,000, Classic glory and greatly enhanced breeding value were connections reward for taking this shot at the big time.

Palmer also landed the Group 3 race on the Sunday card at the Curragh, and given the nature of his decision to take a tilt at Saturday’s big prize, the name of that horse was rather fitting. Palmers Fiarstown Stud Minstrel Stakes victor goes by name of Home Of The Brave.