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Newtown’s champion jump jockey Brian back at work preparing for National Hunt racing’s return

'It’s been the longest break I’ve ever had in my career, but, obviously, there’s greater things going on around the world'

Brian Hughes is preparing for the return of National Hunt racing in July. Picture by Hannah Ali/Editorial VBET

Newly-crowned champion jockey Brian Hughes is back riding out – and counting down the days until the return of jumps racing.

The VBET ambassador and his weighing-room colleagues have been sidelined since March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Hughes, from Newtownhamilton, is now back at work on the gallops in preparation for the intended return of National Hunt racing in July.

He told VBET: “I’ve obviously been in lockdown for six weeks and didn’t leave the house. We live in the countryside, though, so it hasn’t been too bad to keep busy.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve also been able to get back riding out again.

“I’ve also been able to maintain my fitness by running every morning and doing the programme that Danny Hague, from Jack Berry House, has set us out to keep me fit and relatively in shape.”

“I’m really looking forward to July, when jumps racing will hopefully resume. It’s been the longest break I’ve ever had in my career, but, obviously, there’s greater things going on around the world.

“Hopefully everyone remains fit and healthy.”

Hughes was announced the 2019-20 champion jumps jockey in early April and has been overwhelmed by the congratulatory messages he has received from within racing and beyond.

He told VBET: “I’d just like to say thank-you for all your support the previous season.

“I can’t wait until the start of the jumps season – let’s hope we have a similar run of luck and I’m competitive in the championship.”

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