Sandra Hughes, the brother of former British Champion jockey, Richard, has announced she is giving up training in the coming few months as it is no longer financially viable.
Hughes took over the reins at Osborne Lodge in Co. Kildare on the death of her father, Dessie, in November 2014 and soon won two Grade One wins with Lieutenant Colonel before the end of that year in the Hatton’s Grace and Christmas Hurdles.
Her most valuable success came, with the Katie Walsh-ridden Thunder And Roses in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April 2015.
While speaking to Robert Hall of RTÉ during the station’s coverage of the Punchestown Festival, Hughes said:
“I plan to wind down over the next two to three months, to be honest it’s no longer financially feasible to carry on, but we’re not sad about it, it’s the right decision for us. We gave it our all.”
Reflecting on her success since taking charge at Osborne Lodge, Ms. Hughes explained:
“The Irish National was a dream come true. I was going hoping he’d run really well after his bad run at Cheltenham, but to win was just absolutely magic. When he jumped the last, I closed my eyes, and I thought he was going to be placed but Katie was absolutely magic on him.”
Hughes joins a growing number of trainers quitting the game in recent years, such as Colin Murphy and Charlie Swan, who also claimed it wasn’t financially viable to continue.