How many winners did Brian Hughes ride for Donald McCain in 2020/21?
Born in Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, but based in Cleveland in the North of England, Brian Hughes won the Jump Jockeys’ Championship for the first time in 2019/20 with 141 winners – 19 ahead of reigning champion Richard Johnson – in a season curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Although, in his own words, Hughes had ridden ‘quite a bit’ for Donald McCain in preceding seasons, in May, 2018, he officially became first choice jockey at Bankhouse Stables in Cholmondeley, Cheshire.
Having ridden 24 winners from 93 rides for the yard in 2017/18, Hughes increased his seasonal tally, albeit at a reduced strike rate, to 41 winners from 311 rides in 2018/19. In his title winning season, he did so again, with 43 winners from 222 rides and in 2020/21, when he finished runner-up to Harry Skelton in the Jump Jockeys’ Championship, nonetheless enjoyed his most successful season so far, with 47 winners from 246 rides.
That said, at the time of writing, Brian Hughes leads the 2021/22 Jump Jockeys’ Championship with 73 winners – 29 ahead of nearest rival, Sean Bowen – and is long odds-on to win the jockeys’ title for a second time. In the current season, so far, he has ridden 31 winners from 111 rides for Donald McCain, at a strike rate of 28%; barring accidents, a new seasonal best for the yard looks a formality.