BRIAN Hughes, who recorded his first seasonal century earlier this month, is looking forward to some decent rides on day one of the Perth festival today.
Among his four mounts is Sun Cloud, who will be making his third visit to the big April meeting and faces seven rivals in the Aberdeen Assent Management Plc Handicap Chase (for the Scottish Memories Challenge Cup). Hughes said: “He was third in this last year and second in the conditional jockeys hurdle two years ago. He’s been running consistently well all season and is in good form at home.
“Unlike some of his rivals, he’s relatively lightly-raced and he won’t mind the ground. We’d be hopeful of him running a big race.”
Among the opposition to Sun Cloud are Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Five Star Wilsham and Maurice Barnes’ in-form Carrigdhoun who has won three of his last four starts.
Hughes also gets the leg up on Retrieve The Stick, another Malcolm Jefferson runner, in the Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
He added: “I haven’t ridden her since she won at Newcastle and Kelso well over a year ago. She looks well at home and has dropped a few pounds so I think she should be competitive off her current mark.”
Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey Nico de Boinville, who is mounting a serious challenge for the conditional riders’ championship, has two mounts as he bids for his first winner at the Scone track. He partners Admiral Miller in the opener and Caracci Apache in the afternoon’s most valuable race, the Aberdeen Asset Management Plc/ EBF Stallions “Future Champions” “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle. Both are trained by his boss Nicky Henderson and the latter rattled up a hat-trick before pulling up in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.