IF you are looking for a push in the right direction at this afternoon’s Newcastle meeting when I comes to finding winners it is hard to go past in-form young driver Blake Hughes.
Born and raised in the Hunter, Hughes is entering his fifth season of competitive driving and is proud of what he has achieved so far in his short career, which includes more than 200 winners and a breakout campaign in the 2019/20 season when he was able to break the century mark . . . all before his 20th birthday.
“ I guess it is all pretty flattering when you sit back and look at it,” said Hughes.
“I’m not really a person who reflects on stuff like that, but it is very humbling when you do.
“You can’t do what you do without the great support from trainers and owners who are keen to put you on their horses, I’ve been very lucky to get that and always do my best to return their faith in me with winners.”
With four drives today on four leading chances, Hughes is quietly confident it could be a good day at the office.
“All four of my drives look really good winning chances,” he said.
“If I had to pinpoint one though it would be Im The Majorstar in the second.”
Im the Majorstar, who is trained by Anthony Missen at Tamworth, is having its first start in the northern areas in the Sky Sports Radio Pace.
Formerly trained at Canberra by Matt Johnstone, the son of Art Major draws gate one and is looking to make it win No 2. from start 54.
“Anthony usually has his horses fit and ready to go,” said Hughes.
“I thought from the good draw and in an even field, if we lead we would take some catching, going off his Riverina form.”
Another horse Hughes is looking forward to partnering is Acoltnamedsu for Clayton Harmey in the Sky Racing Active Pace, the last on the card.
Blessed with brilliant gate speed, Acoltnamedsu is coming off a last-start third at Tamworth where he led and went down fighting in a mile rate of 1:59.4 over the 1609m.
“The key with him is leading and I thought we could get across and get some respite early.
“If that happens, they would do well to catch him.”
- MICHAEL DUMESNY