Racing: Roberts closes in on 200

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL ROBERTS yesterday took a step closer to robbing Pat Eddery of more than just the jockeys' championship. A Sandown Park double by the South African kept him on target to emulate Eddery's 1990 achievement in reaching the 200-winner barrier and well within range of Eddery's 209 winners notched that year.

Eddery was bridging a 38-year gap since Sir Gordon Richards's last double century, making the achievement of Roberts in approaching that mark all the more remarkable. He was a 100-1 shot at the start of the season for just the championship.

Wins on Jdaayel and Bold Resolution put him 23 adrift of the 200 mark with over seven weeks of the season remaining. 'Michael requires just over three winners a week and should do it,' his agent, Graham Rock, said. Eddery was also in double form but his successes put him on only the 147 mark, 30 winners adrift.

Richard Hannon, who clocked his 1,000th winner 24 hours earlier, set about his second 1,000 with Geisway, who now goes for the Royal Lodge Stakes.