He­wit­son fires up the New Year with a treble

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

HIGH-FLY­ING ap­pren­tice Lyle He­wit­son has made merry over the fes­tive sea­son and his win on the Greyville turf on New Year’s Day aboard the Paul Peter-trained Gaut­eng raider Fort Em­ber in the Flam­boy­ant Stakes was the third Gr 3 win­ner in the space of a cal­en­dar week.

On Old Year’s Day He­wit­son won the Gr 3 Le­belo Sprint over 1 000m at Turf­fontein on the Mike Azzie-trained Ri­varine and on “Box­ing Day” he won the Gr 3 Christ­mas Hand­i­cap over 1 600m on the Greyville turf aboard the Sean Tarry-trained Rik­i­tik­i­tana.

Fur­ther­more, He­wit­son rode a treble at the New Year Day’s meet­ing.

The Flam­boy­ant Stakes saw an­other Graded race suc­cess for the in­creas­ingly prom­i­nent sire Elu­sive Fort.

The four-year-old Fort Em­ber was off the track for a year due to a rac­ing rule re­lat­ing to a le­gal wran­gle.

She had fin­ished sixth in the Gr 1 Thek­wini as a two-year-old in her third ca­reer start.

She came back at the be­gin­ning of this sea­son to win three on the trot be­tween 1 400m and 1 600m be­fore run­ning a 1,7 length fourth in the Gr 2 Ipi Tombe Stakes over 1 600 and a close sec­ond in a Con­di­tions Plate over 1 800m. The con­nec­tions, KG Bakos, GM Bakos, I Le­vi­tan and Peter him­self, were con­fi­dent of suc­cess in the Flam­boy­ant and she short­ened into 3-1 sec­ond favourite.

The ro­bust filly has a lovely, elas­ti­clike ac­tion and He­wit­son took her up into sec­ond place from a tricky draw of nine in the 13 horse field.

Lit­tle­black­num­ber

In the run­ning she sat one wide be­hind a slow pace set by Lit­tle­black­num­ber.

She was a bit green through­out the turn, but was nice and re­laxed and turned for home full of run­ning.

She shot into the lead and the 18-10 favourite Heaps Of Fun, who had sat in the box seat in­side of her, couldn’t go with her.

It was left to Im­pala Lily, Dawn Call­ing and last year’s win­ner Olma to chase her home.

Im­pala Lily got within two lengths to fin­ish sec­ond.

Dawn Call­ing was a fur­ther 3,3 lengths back in third, touch­ing off Olma by a head.

Olma was a bit keen early from a wide draw and her good turn of foot was also blunted by the slow pace. How­ever, she con­firmed form vir­tu­ally ex­actly with Lala from last year’s race, the lat­ter fin­ish­ing a two length run­ner up last year and fifth this year, 2,25 lengths be­hind Olma.

The race was marred by Miss Min­ver break­ing a leg and she had to be eu­th­a­nized. Jockey Morne Win­naar stood up af­ter the in­ci­dent, but was booked off his re­main­ing rides.

He­wit­son thus picked up the ride on the Dean Kane­meyer-trained three­year-old Mambo In Seat­tle geld­ing Mr O’Neill, who at last dis­played some of the abil­ity he has al­ways been known to pos­sess by win­ning a MR 70 Hand­i­cap over 1 600m in good fash­ion.

Peter and He­wit­son had ear­lier com­bined to win from a wide draw in flu­ent style on the Gaut­eng raider Blue Berry Pie in a 1 400m maiden for fil­lies and mares on the turf.

There was an eye-catch­ing win at the meet­ing for the Gareth van Zyl­trained and Brian Burnard-owned On­sie, who is a typ­i­cally pro­gres­sive daugh­ter of Ideal World.

In a MR 66 Hand­i­cap for fil­lies and mares over 2 000m on the turf, she jumped from a wide draw of 15 un­der Muzi Yeni and had to be con­tent to run three wide the whole way. How­ever, this did not stop her find­ing plenty in the straight and she won go­ing away by 5,5 lengths from Fash­ion Talk and Good Grace.

She was only run­ning off a 75 merit rat­ing, so still has a lot to prove be­fore the SA Cham­pi­ons Sea­son, but is well re­garded by the yard and is go­ing the right way.

Yeni also scored on the Lowen Denyss­chen-trained Pure Valor in a MR 86 Hand­i­cap over 2 000m, a race which had a thrilling fin­ish.

On Satur­day Ri­varine had looked a sit­ter in the Le­belo Sprint, a hand­i­cap, as he had just been touched off by Green Pep­per over this trip in his pre­vi­ous start when giv­ing the lat­ter 7,5kg.

Green Pep­per

He was run­ning off a 98 merit rat­ing in Satur­day’s race, while Green Pep­per had mean­while risen to a 106 rat­ing. Ri­varine, who is by Var out of the J&B Met-win­ning filly River Jetez, “ric­o­cheted” away from the pack in the clos­ing stages, duck­ing from the out­side all the way to the in­side, but he was so well clear it did not mat­ter. He fin­ished 2,25 lengths ahead of the run­ner up, the pro­gres­sive three-yearold Great Bri­tain filly Queen Lau­rie. The lat­ter will pay to fol­low as she was 3kg un­der suf­fer­ance on of­fi­cial merit rat­ings.

Her Grant Maroun-trained sta­ble­mate Wreck­ing Ball made it a one-twothree for three-year-olds.

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