Championship's all over bar the shouting

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2007, 12:00am

The fat lady sung, Brett Prebble conceded defeat and only Douglas Whyte refused to call himself the champion for the seventh successive year last Sunday.

A lead of eight with 19 races to go could be said to be substantial and it is amazing to note how quickly this pair has got away from Olivier Doleuze, who is 15 behind Prebble but not so long ago had looked a chance of an upset before a couple of suspensions.

While the popular wisdom is that Whyte has had a quiet year, he is still likely to ride some 90-odd winners, which will be a better tally than any of his first three championship wins, and it is only three years ago that we were marvelling as he cracked the century for the first time.

So, assuming no burning bushes, parting of the seas or water being turned to wine at Happy Valley this evening, Whyte will accept the title by the end of the night.

He and Prebble will again be major players, with or without a championship at stake, but Gerald Mosse and Felix Coetzee also look like taking a prominent role.

Coetzee has set himself a target of 50 wins for the season and needs one more to complete that but Miraculous - who has already provided him with five this season - should handle that job in race six if it has not been completed beforehand.

Coetzee has solid rides tonight on General Kingy (race one) and Encore Win (race three) and the Silent Witness connection is back in action with Eye Witness a chance in the final event.

Mosse's best chances all look to be for the Caspar Fownes stable.

The Frenchman links with the champion trainer-in-waiting with four rides and the best of them look to be Hold Hands (race four), Fifty Fifty (race seven) and Prime Delight (race eight).