Ken Nicol: Lyle Hewitson has retained the Jockeys champion title after a thrilling months long battle with Muzi Yeni.
“I’m so fortunate and blessed to be in this position and thanks to everyone” he said in a presentation ceremony hosted by Graham Hawkins.
Fittingly his agent Deez Dayanand was on course to present him with a set of gold cufflinks.
The day started with Hewitson two wins to the good, but Racing Express top bet Wishful Girl Linn made no mistake in Race 1 to stretch his advantage. Yeni fortuitously picked up the ride on second favourite Cersei after Serena Moodley was stuck in traffic.
His filly came out a clear second, but had no answer to the finishing burst of Wishful Grl Linn who streaked clear over the last 200m to score an overdue maiden victory.
And Hewitson looked to have one hand on the title after also scoring in Race 3. Marula for Gary Alexander won by a hard fought long neck, putting him four clear.
But Muzi struck back immediately with a surprise win on Coldhardcash for Duncan Howells in Race 4 to reduce the deficit to three with five races to go.
Hong Kong bound Hewitson wasn’t done though and came home lonely on well fancied Padre Pio in Race 8.
That made the final tally for the season Hewitson 219 Yeni 215.