Weather puts spoke in the wheels of Richard Hughes' title charge

Richard Hughes was forced to endure a highly frustrating day in his quest to catch Paul Hanagan in the race for the jockeys' championship.

Starting proceedings three behind the long-time leader, Hughes travelled to Nottingham in the afternoon for seven rides, making just Spring Secret count in the B&M Installations Handicap to reduce the arrears.

While Hanagan was not in action at a murky Colwick Park, the pair were due to go head-to-head under the floodlights at Kempton in the evening. However, adverse weather conditions forced helicopter problems for Hughes and he failed to make it to Sunbury for any of his six booked rides, having been left with an ultimately futile bid to travel by road. The only consolation for Hughes was that none of his intended mounts got home in front, and Hanagan never really looked like extending his lead. The title race continues today at Lingfield and Kempton, with Hanagan and Hughes in action at both venues. Hanagan will start the day on 186 winners to Hughes on 184.

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Hughes had originally been precluded from riding as he would have completed his quota of nine meetings for the seven-day period from Saturday under the British Horseracing Authority-imposed threshold.

Events culminate at Doncaster on Saturday, where Hughes foregoes the big ride on Paco Boy at the Breeders' Cup in America to give himself every chance of overhauling Hanagan in South Yorkshire.

Speaking at the end of the night, Hanagan said: "I've just got to keep doing as I am and keep my head down and keep going. I am still enjoying it and it is a very lucky position to be in."

Despite his Kempton setback, Coral cut Hughes to 9-4 from 5-2 to come out on top, with Hanagan 1-3 from 2-7. All-weather aficionados left disappointed that title contender Hughes was unable to make Kempton after travel problems were still treated to a ding-dong battle in the big race of the night.

For the feature Listed digibet Floodlit Stakes saw Godolphin's former St Leger winner Mastery, sent off the 1-2 favourite, dead-heat with 11-1 shot Dansili Dancer in a terrific finish.

Akinoshirabe had a setback after her win at Newcastle in May, but Luca Cumani's 5-2 favourite bounced back to form with victory in the Handicap by three lengths from Sharedah.

Franco Is My Name justified 11-4 favouritism under Kieren Fox in the opening Kia Sportage Handicap and probably delayed his jumping career in the process.

The winning distance over Denton was only a neck, but in reality the victory was much more comfortable than that after the winner had hit the front inside the final 120 yards.