Brian Hughes continued his march towards being crowned champion jockey for the first time with a 49-1 treble at Carlisle.
With Richard Johnson sidelined after suffering a broken arm, Hughes continues to set the pace out in front and with every winner he rides, Johnson’s quest to retain the title he has held since the retirement of Sir Anthony McCoy looks increasingly difficult.
Hughes began the day on 8-15 favourite Goobinator in the racingtv.com Novices’ Hurdle and Donald McCain’s youngster was never in any serious danger, coming home 10 lengths to the good.
His second winner was for Irish trainer Stuart Crawford as Lily’s Gem (2-1) got the better of a battle with odds-on favourite Penny Mallow in the EBF Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle.
The final leg was on one of his old favourites, the James Ewart-trained Aristo Du Plessis, who made every yard of the running in the Newbiggin Handicap Hurdle to win by five lengths at 10-1.
Hughes is now on 124 winners for the season, with Johnson left on 111 for now, with his return pencilled in for early March.