There is no doubt that Richard Hughes will go down as one of the most naturally gifted jockeys ever to sit on a horse and ride in a race and the 42 year old Irishman is already translating that talent to the training ranks.
Since saddling up his first runner back in September, he has had 47 runners to date, with ten of them winning and a further eight getting into the frame. He has stated multiple times that he is really excited by the bunch of horses he has bought in for the flat turf season ahead and he is definitely one for punters to pay very close attention to. On the all-weather at Lingfield Park on Friday though, his recent course and distance winner BARYE looks the one to be on and can continue the winning vein under Shane Kelly.
Barye was a three time winner for David Simcock before switching to Richard Hughes, but lost his way a little bit over the summer months. The change of scenery from Newmarket to Lambourn clearly had a positive effect on the five-year-old son of Archipenko, because he ran well to be second on stable debut at Kempton Park in early December and followed that up with a fluent success over the one mile four furlong trip sixteen days later. The handicapper decided to give him a 5lb hike for that to a mark of 98 and he is fast approaching listed quality form and ability.
He faces just the six rivals today and comes into the race as the only last time out winner, that’s not to say that there aren’t any other potential winners. Sir Mark Prescott’s The Steward has cheekpieces applied and that could bring about some improvement. Amanda Perrett’s Blue Surf is a horse who typically goes very well when fresh and has to be respected on his all-weather debut after a break.
First Mohican is a talented horse but probably wants further, or at least a very strong pace over this trip and with this small field he may not get his ideal racing conditions. Masterpaver is up against it after six months off and Winterlude looks the rightful outsider in the field. BARYE is the clear form pick and should run another big race for Hughes, Kelly and his owners.
2.45pm Lingfield – BARYE, 2pts win