Lyle Hewitson, centre. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/YOLANDA SAAYMAN
Lyle Hewitson, centre. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/YOLANDA SAAYMAN

With champion jockey Warren Kennedy sidelined for a week, Lyle Hewitson will be looking to take advantage of his absence and increase his lead in the championship race.

Last Saturday was not a memorable one for Kennedy or for Hewitson. Kennedy rode a solitary winner (River Jordan) at Turffontein, while Hewitson, 23, drew a blank at Kenilworth, although he did run third on Cirillo in the Green Point Stakes.

Hewitson — now with a lead of 16 winners over Greg Cheyne and 30 over Kennedy — will travel to the Vaal on Tuesday for seven rides on the eight-race programme.

Unquestionably, his best mount is three-year-old Eagle Alley, who takes on just five rivals in the second race. A R550,000 son of Silvano, he made a winning debut at Turffontein in November to suggest he has a bright future.

Quattro Passi, the mount of Piere Strydom, has done his connections proud this term with two wins and five placings from seven starts. This R40,000 buy isn’t bred in the purple like Eagle Alley, but on his current form rates the main threat to Sean Tarry’s runner.

Master Supreme is not without a chance in this 1,600m contest as Candice Dawson’s runner has dropped in the ratings and will have blinkers fitted on Tuesday.

Gavin Lerena, who rides Master Supreme, steps in for Kennedy on three Paul Peter runners — Almalfi Coast (third race), Lotus (third) and Sekhmet in the final event on the card.

Lotus is the pick of this trio as the daughter of Flower Alley is overdue to leave the maiden ranks after filling the runner-up berth in her last two outings. The chief threat may be Muzi Yeni’s mount Joanna Ess.

Almalfi Coast, a daughter of Potala Palace, makes her debut in the third race and the comment from her trainer is “very speedy, could place”. Peter’s comment on his other newcomer, Love Posy, is that “she will need the experience”.

Hewitson partners the Tarry inmate Sanuk in this race. The daughter of Captain Of All can be given little chance after being beaten 16 lengths at Turffontein last Saturday.

Muzi Yeni rode his 50th winner of the season last week and while he doesn’t seem to have a great book of rides, has an each-way shout on Shabba Banks in the first leg of the jackpot.

Barend Botes has his team in good form and his five-year-old makes plenty of appeal from a favourable draw. It is noticeable that the gelding drops back in distance after running over further in his last two outings.

Liverpool Legend gets his seventh different jockey in his last seven races with Piere Strydom doing the steering this time. The gelding is a must for inclusion in exotic perms with Afraad and Baymax.

A possible banker bet for punters is Alec Laird’s four-year-old Leading Lad in the sixth race. The gelding does have top weight in this maiden handicap, but the opposition is extremely moderate.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: (2) Just As Rich (7) Lagertha (1) Godswood (3) Freezing Fast

2nd Race: (4) Eagle Alley (3) Quattro Passi (1) Master Supreme (5) Contrail

3rd Race: (5) Amalfi Coast (1) Timeforthat (7) Karoo Space (9) Love Posy

4th Race: (11) Shabba Banks (13) Liverpool Legend (2) Afraad (9) Baymax

5th Race: (2) Lotus (5) Joanna Ess (1) Mode (6) You Deserve It

6th Race: (1) Leading Lad (3) Fast Draw (6) Red Bishop (11) Attentive

7th Race: (9) Tartan Dancer (3) Lady Defiance (2) Numberninetynine (1) Stormy Winter

8th Race: (13) Afriel (3) Starflash (5) Sekhmet (9) Bahlebonke

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