Richard Hughes made sure he put his point across as he waved his whip in celebration passing the line with a comeback winner at Newbury.
The jockey had been in self-imposed exile for a week due to his frustration at picking up two bans in quick succession under the British Horseracing Authority’s tough new whip rules.
Hughes’ main grievance had been over the five-hit restriction inside the final furlong (200m) and as soon as it was announced that edict had been removed on Friday morning, he decided to return to the saddle at his local track.
While he admitted he was still not exactly delighted with the severity of the refined whip rules as a whole, his suspensions have been rescinded and the Breeders’ Cup Mile ride on Strong Suit is now his again, so the lean Irishman is certainly a happier figure.
Hughes did not need to get too serious on Usain Colt (3-1) in a maiden as Richard Hannon’s youngster looked a bit like his namesake on a belated return to the track, sweeping 2-1/4 lengths clear.
“I’m pleased to be back riding, and I can ride Strong Suit in the Breeders’ Cup now,” Hughes said.
“My beef was with the rules about five strikes after the furlong pole so I’m happy about that, but I don’t think much else has changed.
“It’s great the BHA have held their hands up and seen it wasn’t working. You don’t really know if it works until you actually test it out and luckily they saw very quickly it wasn’t going the right way and they changed it.
“It’s a good move forward but the penalties are very high, as if you make a clerical misjudgment with eight strikes instead of seven, you get a five-day ban, and then a ten-day ban.
“It’s not as much (about) prize money, prize money in Britain is deplorable and we get about STG80 ($A124) for riding a winner, but five days off can lead you missing STG2500 in riding fees with someone getting five rides a day.”
Usain Colt is owned by the well-heeled Betfair/Birdcage Racing Club and it is rumoured that Prince Harry is one of the members.
“I can’t disclose that,” syndicate manager Jake Warren said.
PA AAP TURF