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By Simon Jackson, London24 horse racing correspondent
Monday, April 2, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
Ryan Moore’s hopes of landing a fourth jockey’s title have been boosted by the news that he will be covering for suspended Richard Hughes on Richard Hannon’s runners throughout April.
Hughes is currently serving a 50 day suspension he picked up in India in February for not riding to instructions in a race in Mumbai, an offence that is not punishable in the UK.
The 39-year-old Hughes had hoped to have the ban thrown out by officials in the UK; but his expectations were dashed as the BHA – one of 50 authorities that comprise the International Racing Agreement who reciprocate penalties – confirmed the ban which prohibits Hughes from riding until May 1.
Richard Hannon jnr, son and assistant to the champion trainer said: “We have other jockeys but Richard [Hughes] knows the horses. Ryan Moore will be available, Pat Dobbs will be there and also Kieran O’Neill.”
Hughes, now rated an 11-2 chance to win the title (Betfred), tweeted: “It is probably the worst feeling ever of being accused of something u did not do. I thought I could rely on UK for justice.”
Moore, the champion jockey in 2006, 2008 and 2009, heads the betting at 3-1 to win the title this year, ahead of last year’s runner-up Silvestre De Souza (7-2), who was fortunate to escape unscathed from a fall at Meydan on Saturday.
The Brazilian last season bagged 161 winners and is eager to go one better this season after finishing four adrift of Paul Hanagan who was crowned champion jockey for the second successive year.
Both riders have since moved south, Hanagan to take up the role as No.1 jockey to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and De Souza to Godolphin.
“I will give it my all,” De Souza said. “Godolphin has options with other jockeys and have lots of horses. I still have my contacts up north and I will do a lot of travelling.”
Hanagan is offered at 9-2 to win the championship for the third time in as many years.
Former champion Kieren Fallon, another seeking to reclaim his crown, is priced at 4-1.