Four-star Hughes in flying form
A review of Tuesday's action at Sedgefield as Brian Hughes continued his sensational form with a four-timer.
Brian Hughes rode four winners at Sedgefield
Brian Hughes is keeping his feet on the ground despite continuing his sensational run of form by riding four consecutive winners at Sedgefield.
It is just eight days since the leading northern-based rider hit the headlines after enjoying a magnificent five-timer at Musselburgh at combined odds of 899/1.
He has since enjoyed winners at Market Rasen, Haydock and Uttoxeter and while he was out of luck with his first ride in County Durham, with Willie Hall pulling up in the opening race of the afternoon, he soon kicked into gear to again dominate proceedings.
Hughes said: "I came here thinking I had a couple of chances and after I rode the first two winners I was delighted.
"To then go on and have four is great and it's credit to my agent really, who is doing a fantastic job.
"It's a little bit embarrassing, to be honest. Things are almost going too well and I just hope it (luck) doesn't run out.
"I'm just part of a big wheel. I'm lucky to be riding for yards that are in good form.
"There are plenty of lads in the weighing room who could ride these horses, it's getting on them that's the difficult thing.
"I'm the one getting all the pats on the back, but it's the lads and lasses that look after the horses on a daily basis that really deserve the credit."
Malcolm Jefferson's Waiting Patiently kick-started the winning spree when making an impressive start to his career over fences in the Betfred Lotto '100k Cash Giveaway' Chase.
The five-year-old was runner-up on his first two starts over hurdles for Keith Reveley last season, notably chasing home exciting Jefferson inmate Cloudy Dream at Doncaster 12 months ago.
He made it third time lucky at Sedgefield in late January and made his first start since and debut for his new trainer in this two-mile contest.
Always travelling well, the even-money favourite took over the running from the pacesetting Burtons Well on the run to the final fence and bounded seven lengths clear on the run-in.
Jefferson said: "He's a nice horse and already had some nice form before he came to me. I think he hurt his knee when he won over hurdles here back in January and Richard (Collins) felt we should send him straight over fences.
"He's schooled well and does look like a chaser. It's nice to have got him."
Like his stable jockey, Jefferson is also enjoying a purple patch.
"The horses are running well and Brian is riding well, but we have some nice horses at the moment and you'd be disappointed if they weren't winning," said the Norton-based trainer
"Good horses make good trainers and good jockeys. It's as simple as that really."
Hughes doubled up aboard Ken Slack's Discoverie (11/4) in division one of the Betfred Racing 'Like Us On Facebook' Handicap Hurdle and also landed the second division aboard the Rebecca Menzies-trained Stilo Blue Native (4/1).
Hughes now sits joint-third in the Stobart Jump Jockeys Championship on 64 winners alongside Aidan Coleman, with only Sam Twiston-Davies (70) and reigning champion Richard Johnson (107) ahead of him, but dampened talk of a title bid.
"Richard Johnson is the champion jockey, a brilliant rider and a brilliant man. I'm just having a purple patch," said Hughes.
"Everyone wants to be champion jockey, but without wanting to sound defeatist, I think it would be disrespectful to say I could beat him (Johnson). Aidan Coleman is riding very well and Sam Twiston-Davies will be back from injury soon. Both of them have good jobs and I'm just delighted to be mentioned in the same breath as them,
"The way I look at it is if I can finish in the top four or five every year, ride 100 winners and maybe have a big one along the way, I'll be over the moon. This game is a great leveller and full of disappointments, so I just want to keep my feet on the ground and keep doing the best I can."
He was unable to repeat last week's tally, with his final mount Frobisher Bay tailed off in the bumper behind 7/2 winner Oxwich Bay.
Barry Murtagh's Spready Boy was an 11/1 winner of the Betfred 'Be Part Of The Action' Handicap Chase, while Dan Skelton and Bridget Andrews combined to land the Betfred TV Conditional Jockeys' Novices' Hurdle with 8/13 favourite The Bay Oak.