Tuesday, 10 April 2018

HUGHES BIDDING FOR AINTREE GLORY. thumbnail SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT represents a great chance of success for Newtownhamilton jockey Brian Hughes.

SOUTH Armagh born jockey Brian Hughes, has spoken to the Newry Democrat's columnist, 3FurlongsOut, as he prepares for his ride on the Sandy Thompson trained 'Seeyouatmidnight' in the Aintree Grand National this Saturday.

The Grand National is run over much larger fences than those found on conventional National Hunt tracks. Many of these, particularly Beecher's Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn, have become famous in their own right and, combined with the distance of the event, create what has been called "the ultimate test of horse and rider" which Hughes know all too well.

"This will be my seventh attempt at winning the race and it definitely doesn't get any easier," jokes Hughes, who hails from Newtownhamilton.

"My ride in the National this year is definitely good enough to win it, though I will need plenty of luck going around. It's every man for himself and there certainly is no mercy."

Hughes also expressed his delight after Seeyouatmidnight was allotted 10st 8lb for the Grand National by the handicapper.

"Weight stops trains, but my lad has no excuses on that angle as he has a lovely weight," added Hughes.

The 10-year-old had been side-lined by injury since finishing second over hurdles at Kelso last March, but is unquestionably a lively contender for this Aintree spectacular on the pick of his best form.

And he has been boosted further as he has shown no ill-effect for that injury, bouncing back to form as he recently finished third over an inadequate trip. That bodes extremely well for the National.

"The distance is not a problem, though he has never raced over these fences, but I am quietly confident of a bold show," Hughes said.

Hughes is well known to be the journey man of horse racing, as he frequently travels up and down the country in search of further success, but what would winning the National be like in comparison to other races?

He modestly replied, "I like to think of it the same as winning any other race, to enable me to keep my cool, though there is nothing I would could envisage being better than to be crossing the line in first place.

I have as good a ride as any this year, so fingers crossed."

Seeyouatmidnight is currently best priced a 16/1 shot with most betting firms and wouldn't it be something else if Hughes could claim glory in this race.

Either way we just hope Hughes comes back safe and sound as we are aware of the dangers that come with this contest.


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