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Jockeys’ Premiership Race Goes Down to the Wire
It was a three-way showdown to decide the Townsville jockeys’ premiership on Saturday and in the end two tough warriors walked away with a draw.
Graham Kliese and Chris Whiteley ended the last meeting of the season deadlocked on 23 wins after a final day shoot out with Stephen Wilson who finished on 22.
Whiteley was the only one of the trio to ride a winner, locking things up with his victory on Viscosity.
In a sporting gesture, both jockeys said they were happy to dispense with countbacks, which would have put Whiteley just ahead with one and a half more seconds, and share the title.
The result was a major triumph for both hoops who have battled serious injury to keep their careers going.
Kliese, who recently became a grandfather for the first time was delighted with the result.
“I reckon I might be the first grand dad to win it,” Kliese quipped.
“I’m really rapt. It hasn’t been easy physically or mentally.
”I came back at the beginning of the season and had a frustrating run of placings. It took ’till about September to ride my first Cluden winner back so I’m really pleased with how it ended up.
“I just wished it had been a three-way tie with Stephen. We all work really hard over the year and no one put in more than he did.
Whiteley was equally happy with the tie.
“Graham and I have had a fair bit of time off through injury in recent years and it’s good to share it with him,” Whiteley said.
“We had a talk and I said let’s just go on winners. ”
Like Kliese, Whiteley himself spent 18 months on the sidelines between 2015 to 2017 recovering from injuries from two falls, but again like his battle hardened colleague has rebuilt his career.
Pictured: Chris Whiteley urges Viscosity to a narrow win on Ladies’ Day on Saturday to tie up the Cluden jockeys’ premiership with Graham Kliese.
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