Egan vs Egan: father and son jockeys go head-to-head in 1,000 Guineas

Sire and colt: John and David Egan will ride in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket - Rex Features
Sire and colt: John and David Egan will ride in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket - Rex Features

The father-versus-son dynamic is one of the themes in today’s Qipco 1,000 Guineas, and although it is not the first time Aidan O’Brien and his son Joseph have saddled runners in the same Classic, it is some while since a father and son rode in one together.

Back in 1888, Tom Cannon Sr and Tom Cannon Jr rode against each other in the 1,000 Guineas and St Leger, but today it is the Egans who will be playing the generation game.

John Egan rides the outsider Garrel Glen while his son David has the chance of a lifetime when he partners the favourite Qabala, on whom he won the Nell Gwyn Stakes.

Egan Jr, 19, is certainly bred for the job; his mother is Sandra Hughes, who trained the Irish National winner Thunder And Roses; his uncle is the champion jockey-turned-trainer Richard Hughes. His grandfather was the legendary Dessie Hughes, rider of Monksfield and Davy Lad, and the trainer of Hardy Eustace.

Brought up on The Curragh, the younger Egan has lived in Newmarket since he left school.

Lester Piggott may have already ridden a Derby winner by the time he was 18 – on his fourth ride in the race – but it is a few years since there has been a jockey who has ridden a Classic favourite in his first season out of his apprenticeship.

Victory would be life-changing, but the modest Egan, who had his first Classic ride on Emaraaty Ana in yesterday’s 2,000 Guineas, says even just getting a ride in both Classics is life-changing as far as he is concerned.

Speaking about his chances, he said: “I’ve ridden her in a couple of pieces of work since, and she’s done all she’s been asked. 

“Mot Juste, her stable companion, came to win the Nell Gwyn, but we grabbed her up the hill. They don’t work together, but hopefully they will both run a big race for the yard.”