Hewitson targets record for wins by an apprentice
When 20-year-old Lyle Hewitson beats the record number of wins by an apprentice, probably at the Vaal on Tuesday, it is his parents who should take a bow.
Hewitson has turned out to be not only a talented rider, but also a level-headed youngster, and this may be due to one decision. His parents told him: "Finish school first, then we’ll see about you becoming a jockey."
SA’s 11-times champion jockey Muis Roberts held the record of 260 apprentice wins for three decades before Gavin Lerena bettered that with 284 successes in 2007. Hewitson equalled Lerena’s record when scoring on Roy’s Had Enough at Greyville on Sunday.
"With Muis Roberts as great as he is, for Gavin to break his record is a fantastic achievement. For me to topple both in under two years is going to be a fantastic achievement," Hewitson said.
He has seven booked rides for champion trainer Sean Tarry on Tuesday and could break the record as early as the second race in which he partners the Trippi filly New Zealand. The three-year-old has been placed in three of her four starts. The chief threat may come from a runner being ridden by Lerena, Aussie import Dreamsaremadeof, whose last two efforts have indicated she will not be in the maiden ranks for long.
In the first leg of the Pick6, Hewitson partners Tarry’s Judpot gelding Forafewdollarsmore, on whom he won at Tuesday’s track in January. The three-year-old could put his hat in the ring for the Derby in May if he wins with authority on Tuesday.
Mike de Kock will be happy with Takingthepeace’s win in Saturday’s Fillies Guineas, although with Fish River beaten 13 lengths the Sporting Post said the result "caught punters wrong-footed".
With a recent win over 2,400m, supporters of De Kock’s runner Enchanted Drawing will know the Fort Wood gelding has the stamina for the contest and the four-year-old may pose the main threat to Forafewdollars more.
Lerena will need all his expertise to overcome a shocking draw on My Favourite Brown in the fifth race, yet the Aussie import has good form and should contest the finish.
Collabro, a half-brother to Legal Eagle, might be the right one for the swinger, with Querari Viking and Hewitson’s mount Wonderous Climber also on the shortlist of possible winners.
Geoff Woodruff, who trains Collabro, has a bright chance of winning the sixth race with his lightly raced filly Redberry Wood. Lerena was beaten on the daughter of Fort Wood so will be hoping for better fortune.
Alec Laird’s Cape Infanta is drawn in pole position and has each-way claims with Whiteout and the top-weight End Game.
Punters face a tough task in finding the winner of the ninth race over 1,100m, but could be rewarded with a win and place bet on Flying Feather.