RACING: Hughes' magnificent seven
9:36pm Monday 15th October 2012 in Sport
RICHARD Hughes said he was "over the moon" after the on-song rider secured a remarkable 10,168-1 seven-timer at Windsor on Monday.
The Wiltshire-based champion jockey-elect gave a hint of what was to come when he won the first two races on the eight-race card for his father-in-law, Everleigh-based trainer Richard Hannon.
Pivotal Movement (13-8 joint-favourite) landed the EBF Joe Ward Hill Memorial Maiden Stakes, after which East Texas Red (5-2 favourite) claimed the davisbakerycaribbean.com Nursery.
Hughes, Hannon's stable jockey at Everleigh near Marlborough, then donned the famous Khalid Abdullah silks for Amanda Perrett's Embankment (7-1) in the Ladbrokes Game On! Maiden Stakes.
The most impressive winner, though, was the Jeremy Gask-trained Magic Street (4-1 favourite), who streaked to a five-length win in division one of the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap.
The afternoon got even better for Hughes when Links Drive Lady made it five out of five for the rider in division two.
Although he was out of fortune when Ever Fortune finished third in the eight-and-a-half-furlong handicap, normal business was resumed 30 minutes later when the Hannon-trained Duke Of Clarence (7-4 favourite) outbattled Sheila's Buddy in the Bet In Play With Ladbrokes Handicap.
Mama Quilla then put the seal on an unforgettable afternoon for Hughes when William Haggas' filly won the concluding skybet.com Handicap.
The jockey was a late substitute for intended rider Ryan Moore and powered two and a quarter lengths clear of Viola Da Gamba to justify 15-8 favouritism.
He told At The Races: "I'm over the moon - it's great to do it.
"I always said I might do it one day at Windsor, my lucky track.
"Without Richard Hannon I wouldn't be doing any of it.
"Every day my kid, Harvey, says, 'How many winners today? Six or seven?'.
"I tell him I won't ride that many, but I have today.
"It's been one thing after another this year and I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people, especially my agent, Tony Hind.
"Ryan was looking a bit pasty but he's one of my greatest friends as well, so that's what a gentleman he is."
"What a thrill. This is a great day."
Most bookmakers were thankful the seven-timer was not achieved on a Saturday.
"That was probably the cheapest seven-timer ever for the bookies," said William Hill spokesperson, Kate Miller.
"The last time a high-profile jockey rode a big seven-timer it cost us £7million, so we're very grateful that Richard timed his on a quiet Monday.
"We'll pay out around £100,000 but the figure could easily have been 10 times that if he'd chosen this Saturday instead."
Coral representative David Stevens also breathed a sigh of relief.
He said: "Richard Hughes has the title sewn up now, and his 'Magnificent Seven' has merely put the seal on that.
"Individually, none of the seven were particularly good results for us, especially the Richard Hannon-trained mounts.
"But early indications suggest there were no large accumulators rolling up for Coral customers, so our losses can be counted in tens of thousands rather than hundreds.
"It would also have been far worse had he rode seven winners on a busy Saturday.
"If we could choose a day for this to happen then Monday would be it."
Paddy Power, representing the Irish bookmakers of the same name, said: "Hughesie getting beaten in the sixth leg saved us a payout that would have been close to £2million.
"It's still been an expensive day as one punter won £85,000.
"It's probably cost us three-quarters of a million pounds."
MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD