Familiar faces sign off for the season in style at Goodwood

Richard Hughes took his tally of Goodwood wins for the season to 14 with another double  Picture by Malcolm Wells 132352
Richard Hughes took his tally of Goodwood wins for the season to 14 with another double Picture by Malcolm Wells 132352

ON the day they were crowned Goodwood’s top trainer and jockey for 2013, Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes provided barely-needed proof of their worthiness for the titles with two more victories apiece.

There’s no trophy for being the track’s leading rider - although the pride of taking the position again is probably enough for Hughes, who has ridden the racecourse better and more consistently than anyone in recent years.

But there is an impressive prize for the top handler - the Dick Hern Trophy - and it was fitting that Hughes was able to present it to his ‘boss’ Hannon, who has now won it ten times in the 20 years since it was introduced and has taken it five seasons in the past six.

The presentation was planned for after the day’s second race - so how nice it was, and perhaps inevitable, that they should be in the winner’s enclosure at the appointed time after winning that very contest.

It was an easy win, too, as 9/2 favourite Night of Thunder streaked home six lengths ahead of Liam Keniry and Nakuti.

That was the first of two wins at the Goodwood season finale for both Hannon and Hughes, although the second halves of their doubles came in separate races.

Kieran O’Neill gave Hannon his second win of the afternoon - and 18th and final win of Goodwood’s season - when he guided home 7/1 chance Pretty Flemingo - like Night of Thunder, a promising-looking two-year-old who Goodwood race-goers will keep a sharp eye out for next season - in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery Stakes, ahead of Nova Champ (Jamie Spencer).

Hannon’s 18 wins are put into perpsective by the fact his nearest rivals for the Dick Hern Trophy managed only six each.

Hughes, for his part, notched his 14th Goodwood win of 2013 - leaving him four victories clear of closest challenger Ryan Moore - in the next race, the Student Raceday Stakes, on Ashpan Sam, the 9/2 joint favourite.

Elsewhere on the eight-race card, others did get a look-in.

National Hunt jockeys get a chance to try their luck at Goodwood just once at this time of year and the Alderbrook Stakes was taken by Wayne Hutchinson on 14/1 contender Harry Hunt, trained by Graeme McPherson.

The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes went to George Baker on Laugharne (5/2), trained by Roger Charlton, while young jockey James Harding, not for the first time at Goodwood, impressed - winning the JRL Group Gentleman Amateur Handicap for amateur riders on Cuckoo Rock (20/1) for Jonathan Portman.

The Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group Stakes went to the John Gosden-William Buick partnership, who won with 7/2 joint favourite Thomas Hobson, while the final race of the year on the Downs, the GWA Cars And Finance Stakes, was claimed by 5/1 shot First Post, ridden by Dane O’Neill for Derek Haydn Jones.

The only downside to the 19th and final fixture of the season was the gloomy weather, which kept some away and made the afternoon one of less-than-pleasant viewing conditions for those who braved it.

STEVE BONE

See a video of Richard Hannon receiving the Dick Hern Trophy on this website on Monday.

Get the Observer on Thursday for reaction to the season finale and pictures