Windsor Races Betting: Tom Lee's Best Bets For July 27

Three months earlier than anticipated, reigning and three-time champion jockey Richard Hughes rides at Windsor for the final time this evening. 

The Dublin-born stylist is going out at the top, and in doing so is departing on a week where he gets to enjoy arguably his two favourite tracks, with a traditional Windsor Monday evening followed by five Glorious days on the Sussex Downs, with Goodwood the venue for his five day swansong. 

The man who piloted a whopping 208 winners on his way to the title in 2013, he's also the man who rode an incredible seven winners in one day at Windsor on 15th October 2012 - needless to say, he's going to leave quite a gap. 

Big race career highlights aren't exactly thinly spread either, and in 2013 he enjoyed not just numerical superiority, but also Classic wins on Sky Lantern in the 1,000 Guineas, plus Talent in the Oaks. 

Doncaster Races : News Photo

However, it seems that all great sportsmen and women know when to hit the ejector seat, and as no less than Eric Cantona once mused: "a life built upon memories is not much of a life".

Hughes is impatient to get on with his budding training career.

After all, he's bred for the job, sired by the late, great Dessie Hughes, and he has also enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the Hannon family. 

Impatience is one thing, but Hughes is a noted perfectionist and will be desperate to bow out with a farewell success in front of his Windsor fan club, with a big crowd anticipated to wish him luck and thank him for years of entertainment. 

'Catch AP' it might not be, but Hughes has a big following and he'll want to give them something to cheer.

A full book of rides was the biggest certainty of all time, with trainers jostling for position to snap up Hughes while they can.

Naturally team Hannon have first claim, but Jamie Osborne has enlisted his help in the 1m 2f John Guest International Supports Racing Welfare Handicap (8.00pm), hoping he can help three-year-old Arcano gelding Born To Be Bad to a third win in four outings.

The 73-rated recent Doncaster winner will have to prove he can handle softer ground than he's been used to, but he negotiated a step up in grade and distance last time out, and has much going for him.  

Lingfield Races : News Photo

As one of only two three-year-olds in the field he gets weight from older, lower rated, more exposed rivals, and can make that advantage pay.  

His Doncaster win added to an easy maiden victory at Wolverhampton in June, with the likelihood of more to come.

It's a typically nice touch from the Windsor Racecourse executive that they've chosen to name the final race on the card after Hughes, with the Racing Welfare Farewell To Richard Hughes Handicap due off at 8.35pm. 

'Hughesie' gets the leg up on Gary Moore's Shalianzi, but the fairytale ending could be ruined by Marcus Tregoning's improving son of 2007 Derby winner Authorized, Oskar Denarius.

The four-year-old got his act together last time out, improving for a taste of Soft ground when promoted to first following a rough race and subsequent stewards' enquiry at Chepstow. 

The will be just his sixth career start and following a nice break, with the rain arriving very much in his favour, he can be a party pooper.

It's ironic that Oskar Denarius is ridden on this occasion by Pat Dobbs, who for so long has played second fiddle to Hughes within the Hannon operation.

Still, if you're backing Oskar Denarius this'll be one battle you'll be happy to see Hughes lose.

Good luck!


Monday night's best bets at Windsor:

8.00 - John Guest International Supports Racing Welfare Handicap - 8 Born To Be Bad (win)

8.35 - Racing Welfare Farewell To Richard Hughes Handicap - 2 Oskar Denarius (win)