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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 November 2007, 17:13 GMT
Spencer and Sanders share title
By Frank Keogh

SANDERS v SPENCER
Seb Sanders and Jamie Spencer
Seb Sanders
Age: 36, Weight 8st 4lb
Born: Birmingham
Married to Leona; daughter Darcy
2007 Wins 190
Jamie Spencer
Age: 27, Weight 8st 6lb
Born: Co Tipperary
Married to TV racing presenter Emma; two children
Wins: 190
Jamie Spencer rode a winner in the last race of the Flat season to share the jockeys' championship with Seb Sanders.

In a dramatic climax at Doncaster, Spencer claimed the concluding contest on favourite Inchnadamph.

The jockeys had a total of more than 2,000 rides over seven months, finishing tied on 190 winners apiece.

Spencer rode two winners on Saturday while Sanders had one victory as they became the first joint Flat racing champions in more than 80 years.

Sanders was one ahead going into Saturday's action, but few could have scripted the drama which followed as an unexpected tumble, photo finishes and a late non-runner added to the tension.

Going into the final race, Sanders had clinched at least a share of the championship but had to watch from the sidelines after his intended mount was ruled out.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Honest Frank

Spencer needed a victory to tie, but he kept his cool as he timed his run to perfection.

The jockeys paid tribute to each other after a gruelling duel, which saw them travelling up and down the country in the search for winners.

Spencer covered more than 2,000 miles in the final 48 hours of the season as he shuttled between his Newmarket home and Musselburgh, Wolverhampton and Doncaster racecourses.

"I'm choked. It's been physically and mentally draining over the last month," said the 27-year-old Irish rider, who was champion in 2005.

"This was the best result that could have happened for racing as no-one deserved to lose."

Englishman Sanders, whom Spencer described as "the toughest rival" he could have faced, is in the final stages of his career at 36.

Jamie Spencer secures a tie on Inchnadamph
Spencer lets out a roar as he secures a tie on Inchnadamph

"It's been a bit of holy grail for me," said Sanders, who has got to the top through a determined work ethic.

"I've had a few shots at it before but just fell short the last few times.

"This year's been totally different. I can't believe how many winners I rode in the last couple of weeks. It's unbelievable."

Sanders, who joins a list of champion jockeys including Gordon Richards, Lester Piggott and Frankie Dettori, went two clear in the pair's opening race of the day when scoring a bizarre triumph with Incomparable.

Sanders looked set for second before clear leader Omnicat swerved violently to the right and unshipped jockey Eddie Ahern.

Spencer almost pulled one back in the next only to be beaten in a photo finish. But he closed the gap to one thanks to victory in his third outing on Generous Thought.

The see-saw battle took another twist when Sanders and Borderlescott were edged out by Galeota.

TIED TITLES
2007 Seb Sanders and Jamie Spencer
1923 Steve Donoghue and Charlie Elliott
1870/71 George Fordham and Charlie Maidment
And there was a further blow for the English rider when Backbord, his ride in the last race, was declared a non-runner because of the fast ground.

But Spencer still needed something special in the last to tie the gripping battle - and he produced it, guiding Inchnadamph to a stunning eight-length triumph.

Despite their tireless efforts, the jockeys receive no additional financial reward for winning the championship.

Leading betting exchange Betfair, which took about 2m on the title race, will pay out on Sanders as their outright winner as they use a countback system for second and third places.

It could be costly for most conventional High Street bookmakers, paying out punters who have backed both men.

However, punters with those bookies will only get their winnings to half the stake placed, as the result is considered a dead heat.

The jockeys' championship has only been shared three times in the history of Flat racing.

The last time before Saturday was in 1923, when Steve Donoghue and Charlie Elliott ended all square.



SEE ALSO
Jockeys' title race as it happened
10 Nov 07 |  Horse Racing
Sanders takes lead in title race
09 Nov 07 |  Horse Racing
Sanders blow dents title charge
08 Nov 07 |  Horse Racing
Spencer hits out over prize money
26 Oct 07 |  Horse Racing


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