Sport

Dane Nelson is the champion jockey

BY OBSERVER RACING WRITER

Friday, December 27, 2013    

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On November 17, 2013, champion jockey Dane Nelson rode six winners to move one ahead of Omar Walker in the jockeys' championship. This was after he was 19 winners behind Walker, at the end of September.

Riding on the crest of that momentum, Nelson just kept on going and going, while Walker could find no answer to this persistent onslaught by the man racing fans called the 'Warrior Chief'.

As if his exploits on November 17 were not enough, Nelson pulverised all and sundry with a truly magnificent display from the pigskin yesterday at Caymanas Park.

Starting the day five wins ahead of Walker and buoyed by his vuvuzela-blowing supporters, gave a riding lesson of class and distinction.

In the end, he graced the winners' enclosure four times, to put the jockeys' championship safely in his silks for the second time in his career.

"Oh what a wonderful day. This is beyond my expectations. Thanks to the trainers and owners who supported me. This would not have been possible without the confidence they placed in me," Nelson said.

The coup de grace for Walker came in the ninth race, an Overnight Allowance event over the five straight course, as Nelson sealed his date with destiny with a crunching ride aboard outsider New Kingston.

The race boiled down to straight fight between New Kingston and Willie Goldsmith with a now weary Walker in the saddle. The noise from the stands, which accompanied the finish, was deafening, as the two leading riders went at it hammer and nail.

In the end, it was Nelson and his bustling riding style that won the day. At the winning post, Nelson flashed his whip with disdain at Walker.

"That race was a statement, that was a finishing touch. It is now done, it is finished. I am happy, very happy, I am fit and all I need now is to continue in the same way. I am the champion, and I am thankful," Nelson said.

Walker pulled one back on Nelson when he won the 12th and final race on Change Him Name.

So with one raceday to go tomorrow, Nelson leads by eight wins.

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