Just about everything Lyle Hewitson touches is turning to gold at the moment and he was handsomely rewarded for his decision to put in the hard yards to ride the victorious Nicholson Returns in Sunday’s Class Four Special Cargo Handicap (1,650m) at Sha Tin.
The David Hall-trained galloper dropped a point in the ratings after his last-start fourth, meaning the red-hot South African jockey had to dig a little bit deeper to make the weight of 116 pounds.
“I’m very happy, he won very well. I’m pretty much cut to 117 pounds on a general basis but when I got off last time I straight away went to Mr Hall and said ‘I’ll ride him at 116 next time, please I want to stick him with and I will make the weight’,” Hewitson said.
“I just love it when a plan comes together and it was worth taking weight off to have a win like this.”
Update: @LyleHewitson is still on fire! 🔥— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) May 1, 2022
The South African ace slams in his seventh win from the last three meetings, this time aboard Nicholson Returns who relishes the challenging conditions. 💪@SAJockeyAcademy | #HKracing pic.twitter.com/I3qI9bhGac
Hewitson positioned Nicholson Returns outside the leader from gate 11 and the three-year-old put things to bed in fine style in the straight, saluting by four and a half lengths to break his maiden at start seven.
“He’s slowly made good progress and the blinkers have helped a bit. He was a little bit nervous when he first arrived and it took him a bit of time to get his confidence. His trials weren’t that good and race by race he’s got better,” Hall said.
“His form over his last two runs showed he was ready to win a race but he took it to another level today and probably the conditions [helped]. Being a New Zealand-bred by Iffraaj, I think he really liked getting his toe in the ground and that showed in the performance.”
The victory completed a double for Hewitson after his earlier win aboard the Douglas Whyte-trained Cheval Valiant and he now has seven winners from the past three meetings.
He's at it again! @LyleHewitson collects his sixth win from his last eight rides in Hong Kong as Cheval Valiant survives narrowly... 🤯 @DJWhyteTrainer #HKracing pic.twitter.com/tNcJRWfRop— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) May 1, 2022
“It’s unbelievable. I’m just super, super blessed for all the support and I’m just enjoying how things are going, so long may it continue,” said Hewitson, who has 15 winners from 446 rides in Hong Kong but seven victories from his past 14 mounts.
Moor back with a bang
Daniel Moor is a Group One winner once more a month after cutting short his Hong Kong stint to return to Australia to be with his family.
The 37-year-old, who landed two winners from 95 rides during his two months in Hong Kong, took out the Australasian Oaks aboard Glint Of Hope at Morphettville in Adelaide on Saturday.
GLINT OF HOPE wins the G1 Australasian Oaks!— Racing.com (@Racing) April 30, 2022
What a run from the Deep Impact #ディープインパクト filly 🇯🇵#JRA #競馬 #騎手 @netkeiba @busuttin @daniel_moor pic.twitter.com/g7EYHCsNDh
It was Moor’s fourth Group One victory and second for trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young after they provided him with his maiden top-level success aboard Sierra Sue in September last year.
“Trent and Nat have been great supporters of mine and we’ve stuck fat – we had a great 12 or 18 months before I went to Hong Kong and to repay them is really satisfying,” Moor said.
Engelbrecht-Bresges to lead IHSC
Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has been elected president of the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC).
Engelbrecht-Bresges, who also chairs the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and the Asian Racing Federation (ARF), is the third president of the IHSC and he succeeds Ingmar De Vos.
“I am very grateful to be elected president of the IHSC and must pay tribute to Ingmar, whose leadership at the helm of the confederation has been significantly important and impactful for global horse sport,” Engelbrecht-Bresges said.
“I look forward to leading the IHSC as president and advancing our shared ideals and activities, specifically our partnership with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).”
Founded in 2013, the IHSC’s mission is to encourage cooperation between the IFHA and the Federation Equestre Internationale, as well as to represent the collective interests of the horse industry with the OIE and other international bodies.
Assistant trainer fined HK$15,000
Stewards have fined Francis Lui Kin-wai’s assistant trainer Pierre Ng Pang-chi HK$15,000 for failing to report an incident involving a galloper at Happy Valley on April 20.
After Win Charm was scratched at the start of the Class Four Tseung Kwan O Handicap (1,650m) because of a restricted action in both front legs, stewards reviewed footage of Win Charm in the holding stalls before the race and discovered that the four-year-old got down in its box and had to be replated.
Senor Toba full steam ahead to Group One after impressive Sha Tin success
“It was established that this incident as well as the replating of the horse was made known to Mr Ng, however Mr Ng did not inform Mr Lui of the matter and Mr Lui only became aware of the situation following the withdrawal of the horse,” chief steward Kim Kelly said in a statement.
“By negligently failing to report that Win Charm had got down in the box and had been replated, the horse was not subject to a veterinary examination to establish its suitability to participate in the aforementioned race, which resulted in the horse being saddled, paraded and ridden to the starting gates where – after being examined by the veterinary officer following concerns being raised by the rider of Win Charm as to its suitability to race – Win Charm was withdrawn from the race.”