Brian Hughes reached 100 winners for the campaign with a four-timer at Newcastle as he overtook reigning champion Richard Johnson in this season’s title race.
Let Me Be (5-6 favourite) gave Hughes his century with a last-gasp victory in the bet365 ‘Junior’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Keith Dalgleish’s three-year-old responded to his determined rider’s urgings to get up in the final strides and defeat Whowonthetoss by a neck.
Johnson had led by two at the start of play, but Hughes was in unstoppable form in the north east as he became the first to three figures this term.
The Dalgleish-trained Starplex (11-10 favourite) got Hughes off to a flying start by taking the opening bet365 Handicap Hurdle.
He doubled up on Theflickeringlight (9-4 favourite) for trainer Phil Kirby in the bet365 Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, with Ettila De Sivola (11-8 favourite) getting up to give him a treble in the bet365.com Novices’ Handicap Chase, before Let Me Be capped Hughes’ day.
The rider told Sky Sports Racing: “I did it last year before Christmas, probably a week or two before Christmas, but it’s great to get 100 winners, it’s what you set out every year to do.”