Turf Talk: Yorkshire's horse racing champions celebrated

Jockey Brian Hughes in action. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty ImagesJockey Brian Hughes in action. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Jockey Brian Hughes in action. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Harrogate Advertiser horse racing correspondent Jeff Garlick’s latest weekly column.

Yorkshire champions were celebrated at the Go Racing In Yorkshire awards lunch held at York Racecourse last week.

Champion Jump jockey Brian Hughes was awarded the leading jump jockey in Yorkshire prize with 26 winners with Dan Skelton taking the equivalent trainer’s prize with 25 victories.

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On the Flat, both prizes stayed closer to home. Tim Easterby was well in front on 67 winners trained, and Thirsk-based Danny Tudhope took the leading flat jockey award with 48 winners.

The remarkable rise through the ranks of Highfield Princess led to her being unanimously voted Yorkshire Horse of the Year. The wonderful mare, trained in Malton by John Quinn, won three Group One races in three different countries in 35 days before finishing fourth in America.

Owner John Fairley said that she remains in training next year with a tilt at the Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot firmly on the agenda.

Snow could jeopardise the meetings at Doncaster and Cheltenham this weekend but if racing goes ahead I like the chances of War Lord in the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

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He was fourth in the Arkle at the Festival behind Edwardstone and that horse beat Shiskin and Greaneteen at Sandown last week. Fantastic Lady looks to be his biggest danger.

I Like to Move It was an impressive winner over course and distance in the Greatwood Hurdle in November. He can take the rise into Graded company in his stride and win for local trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Martello Sky won the Mares Hurdle last year and returns to defend her crown. This 20 furlong trip is ideal for Lucy Wadham’s mare who also ran well at Wetherby recently.

At Doncaster Heroique De Maulde is an interesting runner in the Bet365 Chase. He joined Scottish trainer James Ewart from France in October yet was only beaten a short-head on his British debut.

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With longer to acclimatise and experience of our fences he could be thrown in at the weights.

Garlick’s Goodies: Cheltenham Saturday 1:50 – War Lord; 2:25 – I Like To Move It; 3:35 – Martello Sky; Doncaster 2:40 – Heroique De Maulde.