Richard Hughes to retain champion jockey title

Jockey Richard Hughes
Hughes missed the start of the season after breaking his back

Richard Hughes will be champion jockey for a third consecutive year after it emerged Ryan Moore will not be riding in Britain again this season.

Moore had said the title was not a priority and missed two booked rides at Lingfield on Tuesday through illness.

Hughes trailed Moore, 31, for much of the season after missing the start with a broken back following a Dubai fall.

"It means more to me than Ryan, but to be champion jockey for a third time is great," said the 41-year-old Irishman.

Three-time champion Moore was in Canada riding Hillstar to victory in the Canadian International on Sunday, barely 24 hours after taking part in Champions Day at Ascot.

JockeyWins (to 21 Oct)RidesPercentage
Richard Hughes16089718%
Ryan Moore15575621%

His agent Tony Hind said: "Ryan is just feeling under the weather today.

"In all the time I've known him, he's never missed a day through illness but he woke up this morning and rang me to say he didn't think he could do his rides justice as he is not feeling 100 per cent.

"He's going to Australia for the Cox Plate this weekend, after that it is on to America for the Breeders' Cup, back to Australia for the Melbourne Cup and then there's the Hong Kong races."

Hughes was injured on 29 March when his mount crashed through a rail, throwing the rider over the top.

After initially being told he would be out of action for three months, he returned in late April and will be crowned champion officially when the season ends in mid-November.

"I wouldn't say I've been battling with Ryan, but it feels sweet after the doctor told me I could be out for months when I was injured in Dubai," said Hughes.

"Because of that, I started a month behind everyone else."