Lyle Hewitson has retained his national jockeys championship although nearest rival Muzi Yeni fought until the last.
Going into the last meeting of the season at Hollywoodbets Greyville yesterday Hewitson was on 216 winners, two clear of Yeni.
He went four clear with a double in the first and third races.
The first of these was aboard the well backed Garth Puller-trained favourite Wishful Girl Linn, who pulled clear of the Yeni-ridden second favourite Cersei.
The second of the winners was the Gary Alexander-trained Marula and Hewitson showed why he is a champion here, getting this horse to dig down deep in a thrilling tussle with the favourite Ninotto.
Yeni had tried gallantly in the second race on Minister Without to overhaul the favourite Wolfgang but had to settle for his second runner up finish in succession.
However, he kept his hopes alive by winning the fourth aboard the Duncan Howells-trained 7/1 shot Coldhardcash.
However, when both riders went winnerless in races five and six it was all over.
Fittingly Hewitson was wearing the colours of the season’s champion owner Chris van Niekerk when Gold Circle’s Graeme Hawkins officially congratulated him on winning the title. Van Niekerk’s colours are associated with Hewitson’s guv’nor Sean Tarry, who secured his fourth national trainers title on Saturday.
Hewitson ended on 219 winners for the season when winning the eighth race on the Dennis Bosch-trained Padre Pio.
Yeni finished on 215 and Anton Marcus was third on 189.
By David Thiselton