Hewitson heads for the riches of Hong Kong
Champion is the youngest SA jockey to secure a licence in Hong Kong
Champion jockey Lyle Hewitson has been granted a part-season Jockey Club licence to ride in Hong Kong for the 2019/2020 racing season.
Hewitson, 21, is the youngest SA jockey to be granted a licence in Hong Kong, an exclusive racing jurisdiction where the talented, and the lucky, become millionaires overnight.
In an effort to retain his national title, Hewitson will see out the SA season, which ends on July 31. He told Turf Talk on Thursday: “I’ve spoken to the chief stipendiary steward in Hong Kong. They only start their new racing season in September and we are expected to be there two weeks before the first meeting. I will be leaving early in August to ride in barrier trials and to make connections. I am excited for the opportunity.”
Another South African, Grant van Niekerk, who has been riding successfully in Hong Kong for the past nine months, has received a full licence to ride on the island for another season. The only change to the training roster is the addition of 13-time champion jockey Douglas Whyte. The Durban-born Whyte retired from race riding earlier in 2019.
The 2018 Green Point Stakes produced the proverbial “blanket” finish in which there were short heads between Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge and Undercover Agent in a contest won by Legal Eagle.
All but Legal Eagle, and the leading three-year-olds Soqrat and Cirillo, will contest Saturday’s grade 1 Rising Sun Challenge over 1,600m at Greyville.
There is confidence in several camps.
Peter Muscutt, assistant to trainer Brett Crawford, said about Undercover Agent: “I think he is better on a right-hand track and Greyville is far more suitable for him as a forward-going horse than Kenilworth. They have got to come and get him.”
Justin Snaith said of Do It Again: “He is doing very well, he looks amazing and everything has gone to plan.”
Rainbow Bridge, likely to start as favourite, did pace work at Summerveld this week and trainer Eric Sands commented: “He has definitely come on since his second in the Drill Hall Stakes. He now knows Greyville and he strips fitter.”
Greyville selections, Saturday
Race 1: (2) Isikwami Sam (9) Jer (4) Hey Jude (5) La Duchesse
Race 2: (3) What You Are (7) Innogen (1) Mai Tai (2) Mary O
Race 3: (2) Russian Prince (1) Van Halen (3) Bassilius (5) Winter Storm
Race 4: (1) Eshaan (3) Alramz (7) Kayden’s Pride (5) Enjoy The View
Race 5: (4) Kampala Campari (1) Eyes Wide Open (6) Doublemint (3) Made To Conquer
Race 6: (1) Oh Susanna (6) Elusive Fort (2) Camphoratus (10) In The Dance
Race 7: (2) Rainbow Bridge (1) Do It Again (3) Undercover Agent (6) Soqrat
Race 8: (4) Red Shift (5) Forthelasttime (6) Tommy Grand (13) Sauvage
Race 9: (7) White Lightning (2) Wealthy (3) Paths Of Victory (13) Walterthepenniless
Race 10: (2) So Var (5) Cumulus (3) Exclusive Quantity (15) Hard To Play