Brian Hughes just one off the magic 200 for the season

Brian Hughes isn't the most fashionable jockey but he sure is effective, closing in on both the Champion Jumps Jockey title and 200 winners for the season.

Relentless Northern jumps jockey Brian Hughes moved to within one win for the 200-winner mark for the season after riding a double at Sedgefield.

Hughes always does well at Sedgefield and he got the day off to a fine start aboard Gold Miner in the opening Cazoo Maiden Hurdle, making all for a two and a half length success on Brian Ellison's horse.

Ellison said: "He's a grand horse who jumps well and really he's crying out for fences. He's getting on a bit and I wouldn't want to keep running on that ground, but he does want to go chasing."

Yorkshire based trainer Ellison is hopeful Hughes can join a select band in the two-tonne club which includes Sir Anthony McCoy, Richard Johnson and Peter Scudamore.

"It's very hard to ride 200 winners, but Brian deserves it as he goes everywhere and he's at it seven days a week." said Ellison.

Hughes could only finish third on Costly Diamond, second on Spiritofthenorth and with Punta Prima being pulled up, Hughes delivered on John Quinn's Imperial Merlin in the very last race of the day to get up to 199 winners.

Hughes said: "I was kind of hoping that would be the 200th, but it's not. He's a nice horse and he'll be a nice horse for next year.

"I've ridden winners for 33 different trainers and I'm very lucky I've got a lot of good owners and trainers supporting me.

"I must mention all the the staff in the yards, who are producing these horses. I always feel the stable staff don't get enough credit and without them, you'd struggle to have the horses to ride.

"I'm just grateful for all the support I've had."

The Northern Irishman has a solid chance of making the 200 club on Wednesday, April 20 at Perth with five rides.

Hughes heads to Sandown on Saturday where he will be officially crowned champion jockey for the second time and hopefully with over 200 winners in his ever growing bag of victories.

He added: "I think I'll have 15 rides over the three days (at Perth), so please God something comes home in front."

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