Hughes hopeful of July resumption
Top jockey Brian Hughes says he's focused on being ready for a resumption of racing on July 1.
Hughes was firmly on course to be named jump racing champion jockey this season as he led defending champion Richard Johnson by 19 wins when the action was brought to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Northern Irishman, like the rest of the racing industry, is hoping the campaign can resume at some point in the summer and it was announced last week the jumps action would not be returning until July 1 at the earliest.
Hughes says he's doing what he can behind the scenes to stay fit and hopes to be back in the saddle and picking up more winners as soon as possible.
He said: "Everybody is feeling it at the minute. Jockeys, trainers, owners, people at the racecourses like catering companies, pundits, it's a global crisis.
"It would be great for racing if they could get the Flat going again by May and get the Classics run. I don't know how realistic it is but, just like the call the BHA made to put us back until July, it will be made for the right reasons with all the information that is available.
"It's great to be able to work back from July 1 and make sure I am ready. I haven't even been able to ride out for the trainers I usually ride out for since the middle of March because their sole focus is keeping their staff employed, so there will be rust no doubt."
He added in the Irish News: "But the strength and conditioning coaches at Jack Berry House have online workouts that we can do to keep the fitness levels up. Between that and the running it keeps me ticking over.''
Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.