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Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP
Picture: 123RF/CHRIS VAN LENNEP

SA champion jockey Lyle Hewitson was taken to hospital after a crashing fall in a four-horse pile-up in Sunday’s HK$20m Longines Sprint (grade 1) at Sha-Tin racecourse in Hong Kong.

Doctors later determined Hewitson had a fractured hip and it was decided to keep him in ICU overnight for observation.

The pile-up — involving three other jockeys Karis Teetan, Zac Purton and Yuichi Fukunaga — occurred on the final turn where Hewitson’s mount, Amazing Star, appeared to break down and his fall brought down Lucky Patch, Naboo Attack and Pixie Knight. Vets could not save Amazing Star, who was  put down on the track.

One of the first on the scene of the accident was trainer David Ferraris who rushed to Hewitson’s aid. He told officials: “Lyle is communicating — he’s OK.”

Hewitson, 24, has just begun a second stint in Hong Kong, and a week ago rode a winner, Valiant Elegance, for trainer Dougie Whyte.

Zac Purton, who had won three of the first four races at the meeting, was also taken to hospital for observation. His mount, Lucky Patch, was one of the fancied runners in the Sprint and escaped unscathed.

Japanese raider Glory Vase won the Hong Kong Gold Vase for the second time in three years when producing a storming late run under Joao Moreira to collar well-fancied UK stayer Pyledriver in the final 200m.

Glory Vase, trained by Tomohito Ozeki, had won the 2019 race and the six-year-old proved he remains at the top of his game.

Only two jockeys have won 18 races in Hong Kong on the same horse — one of them former SA champion, Felix Coetzee, on Silent Witness. Jockey Vincent Ho Chak-yiu now has that record all to himself after Golden Sixty’s win in Sunday's grade 1 Hong Kong Mile.

On the local racing front, another shock result — this time in Saturday's WSB Grand Heritage Handicap at the Vaal — raises the question:  how much more punters can endure before throwing in the towel?

In Friday's preview of the meeting, it was said that “there is every reason to expect a long-shot winner” and so it proved with 40-1 shot Stone Cold striding clear to win in the 20-runner field by nearly four lengths.

A first feature winner for Cape Town-born jockey Nathan Klink, Stone Cold is trained by Candice Dawson who had earlier won the second race with Clarkson.

An indication that some punters’ money may be drying up is the gross pool of R760,000 for the Pick Six. In recent big race meetings the pool has always exceeded R1m.

Stone Cold, a son of Soft Falling Rain bred at Moutonshoek Stud, was followed home by Noble Striker, Mardi Gras and this column's 20-1 selection, Back To Black. Those backers who supported Roy Magner's runner will be happy with the place dividend of R4.70.

With the stable having bagged two winners, it was no surprise that Dawson’s three-year-old filly, Warship, was heavily backed for the ninth race, but Warren Kennedy’s mount was never a serious factor and finished six lengths behind Alula’s Star.

Bowie, one of a number of horses purchased from Chris van Niekerk by the Hollywood Syndicate, gave the winning Summer Cup combination of Sean Tarry and Calvin Habib another success when taking the WSB Heritage Consolation.

A son of Twice Over bred at Narrow Creek Stud, Bowie’s win delighted Business Day followers as the four year-old — winning the third race of his career — started at 10-1.

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