Cesarewitch pressure on Hughes as he gets Keys ride

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Richard Hughes may divide opinion when it comes to the calibre of his jockey skills, but he will be given the chance to prove his doubters wrong in the Cesarewitch as he has been given the plump ride on Keys.

Hughes has many times come under criticism for so called exaggerating waiting tactics, keeping a hold-up horse covered up at the back of the field for too long and then not having enough time to reach the leaders or struggling to find a path through weakening runners.

His ride on Magic City at Doncaster last month in the Arena Structures Nursery is a prime example of what is being criticised as the horse could only finish third after finding a gap far too late.

However, Hughes has also made a success of producing hold-up horses late, most notably Canford Cliffs but also when Dubawi Gold was delivered at the death to win the Celebration Mile at Goodword in August.

When the style works then it is hard to criticise, but there is certainly a greater chance that the tactic will go wrong rather than plan out as anticipated.

It is almost an absolute certainty that some trouble in running will be encountered at Newmarket, with the Cesarewitch traditionally having 32 runners, even if many of them will fail to see out the 2m2f trip.

The good news for Hughes is that Keys almost has to be ridden off the pace and then be allowed to canter into contention before being delivered with a late challenge.

In this way he is almost perfect for Hughes’ style, but there is the niggling feeling among some punters that Keys will be referred to as a hard luck story after the Cesarewitch, having failed to get a clear run.

Keys is 12/1 in the Newmarket odds to win the Cesarewitch and if he is well positioned then he will be tough to beat, especially if he is fully recovered from a bad scope earlier this week.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.