Jack Milner: With just seven weeks to go in the racing season, apprentice Lyle Hewitson appears to have the Jockeys’ Championship title wrapped up, making him the first apprentice since Michael Roberts to take the South African title.
Hewitson is currently sitting on 160 winners, 24 clear of Anthony Delpech who is still on an injury break after having suffered a fall on Classic Day at Turffontein in April. Delpech is unlikely to ride again this season so one has to look at the third-placed jockey who is Muzi Yeni. He has ridden 127 winners and remains 33 wins behind Hewitson.
Callan Murray is in fourth place on 114 winners and he is followed by Aldo Domeyer (110), Greg Cheyne (109), Richard Fourie (108), and Gunter Wrogemann (104 – also injured) with Keagan de Melo and Grant van Niekerk both on 101 winners.
As far as the trainers are concerned, Justin Snaith tops the table on R24,023,375 with three-time champion Sean Tarry second on R19,721,750. Being just over R4-million behind, Tarry has a theoretical chance of catching Snaith but, based on their respective likely Vodacom Durban July runners, that looks unlikely.
Mike de Kock is currently in third spot with his runners having earned R14,364,632, with Candice Bass-Robinson right on his heels on R14,333,375. Brett Crawford still has a shot at passing both of them as he lies in fifth spot on R13,656,400.