Racing: Roberts reaches grand total

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL ROBERTS reached the notable landmark of riding 1,000 winners in Britain when partnering Diskette to victory at Brighton yesterday, but the figure represents less than a third of his global tally.

The 40-year-old South African said: 'That is my 3,552nd winner in all. I've had 2,446 in South Africa. It must be one of the quickest thousands in this country.'

Roberts has enjoyed mixed fortune since basing himself in Britain eight years ago. He was champion jockey two seasons ago when riding as a freelance and notching over 200 successes. However, last year he took up the job of retained rider to Sheikh Mohammed, a posting which did not last.

Roberts's tally so far this term is just 65 wins. 'Riding Mtoto, who is the best horse I've been on here, being champion jockey in 1992 and riding for Sheikh Mohammed last season are the highlights of my eight years in Britain so far,' Roberts said.

A champion of the future, Jason Weaver, is to keep the ride on Lavinia Fontana if the mare contests the Diadem Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. Weaver took over from Willie Carson when the Scot was unavailable for her Haydock win last time.