Horses / Horse News

Nicci Garner
3 minute read
19 Jul 2016
6:15 am

Hewitson knows how to get Silver Sage home now

Nicci Garner

Tarry, who saddled his 200th winner this season on Saturday, could notch a double.

AGAIN. Musical Romance, pictured winning a Maiden Plate at the Vaal in February, has placed in her two races since and could score win No 2 at the Vaal today. She runs in Race 7.

Apprentice Lyle Hewitson, who lost his apprentice allowance last week on only his 460th professional raceride, could score at least two wins at today’s meeting at the Vaal.

Eighteen-year-old Hewitson, a “special apprentice” who came from the ranks of work riders, has a good winning chance on Sean Tarry-trained Silver Sage in Race 3 over 1800m. The apprentice and champion trainer have a 17.48% winning strike rate, which is not that much inferior to the stable’s regular rider S’manga Khumalo, who has won on 19.63% of the horses he has ridden for Tarry this season.

Silver Sage is a lightly raced three-year-old who has placed in all three of his races to date. He has only run on the Polytrack and goes on the turf for the first time, but the transition to the slower surface should not affect him.

Hewitson has ridden the Silvano gelding in his last two races. In the first, which came following a short layoff, Silver Sage shortened slightly in the betting and ran second, 2.75 lengths behind Starrett City over 1900m. The form of that race has been franked with the winner placing third next time out and the seventh-placed runner winning next time.

Silver Sage was then slowly away by a couple of lengths in his last start but still kept on well to finish fourth behind Smart World over 2000m. Two of the runners who finished behind him that day placed next time out.

Hewitson will have to ensure a slow start does not become a habit by bouncing him out on terms, but his mount is well drawn at No 2 and could make amends.

Together Forever and Wall Of Ice, who have both been knocking at the door, and Piper Arrow, who has finished unplaced in both his races since a rest but who had much better form before that, look his main dangers.

Hewitson has five other rides on the eight-race programme and could also be successful on Paul Peter-trained Musical Romance. This Trippi filly has not raced since 12 April and has a double-digit draw on a track where statistically the best going in the straight is down the inside but she has the form.

She has run twice since opening her account at the sixth time of asking with a win over Gina Ballerina and Our Miracle (won next time) in a 1000m sprint on the outside track in February.

She was coughing when fourth behind Defining Looks over that course and distance next time and came home with an abrasion on her left hip when third behind Movie Show last time out. Runner-up Tapaway and two other horses who finished behind them won next time they ran.

Pool Party and Hamunaptra, who both step down in class, look the runners Hewitson will have to watch most closely.

Peter could also end the meeting with a winner. He will saddle Noah’s Ark in Race 8 over 1200m and has booked Chad Little for the ride.

Noah’s Arc showed his appreciation for a sprint trip after running unplaced over 1800m in his penultimate start by beating Pistolero over 1200m on the Vaal Classic track last time out. He should follow up.

Tarry, who notched his 200th win of the season on Saturday, could also win Race 1 with Sam Mosia-ridden Shah’s Storm, the best bet on the card. Justin Snaith held the record for number of wins in a season, 194 in 2013-14.