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We Only Bend Some Rules, Son

Rode 23 winners as a workrider

Some rules are for bending and others not. Apprentice Lyle Hewitson, who had his first professional ride at Scottsville on Sunday, has experienced that reality with the news that he will not be allowed to meet his two riding engagements in KZN on Wednesday as a result of a change of venue.

Lyle Hewitson

Lyle Hewitson

Gold Circle moved the Scottsville meeting to the Greyville polytrack after continuous rain in the region and as all races are run around the turn at the city track, Lyle is subject to the qualifying ride rules which limit the new apprentice to mounts up the straight.

Hewitson, who only joined the Academy in January after matriculating at Kearsney College, was last season’s champion workrider and had 88 rides for 23 winners, including a four-timer in February last year. His strike rate was over 26%

Ironically, he managed to get the National Horseracing Authority of SA to bend a rule that states that no apprentice may ride in a race within a six month period of arriving at the Academy and had his first ride on 6 March.

So why on earth would they not apply similar flexibility by allowing him ride at Greyville? Particularly as he has already ridden winners around the turn!

Now let’s just hope the NRB get to spell his name correctly in the official card changes.


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8 comments on “We Only Bend Some Rules, Son

  1. Juan says:

    Common sense only seems to prevail in limited doses with the powers that be.

  2. Pieta says:

    It’s ok to win work riders races around the turn?……so it’s obviously not a safety issue…….or are they just not aware of his record?

    1. Editor says:

      They must be – all those workrider races are run under auspices of NHA

  3. Pieta says:

    Or are work rider races not a safety issue?

  4. Ian Jayes says:

    If his 23 winners do not count and he is bound by the qualifying rides rule, does he get the 4 Kg allowance as well?

    1. Editor says:

      Yes Ian, he does indeed

  5. Louis Goosen says:

    Ian raises a very good point. The 4kg allowance is there for experience. Surely the races that Lyle has ridden in were proper races with stakes, handicapped by the handicapper and should count ? But those 23 winners now count for nothing ?

    I think that with the 4kg claim being allowed, then the laws re qualifying rides and the straight / turn also have to apply. So that is correct, in terms of that ruling.

    The big debate will remain as to whether the 23 winners should or should not apply.
    Imho, they should apply, Lyle should be allowed around the bend and his claim must be adjusted accordingly.

  6. Louis Goosen says:

    It is also important to consider that Kyle will only be doing 3 years instead of 5 years as an Apprentice. This in itself is an acknowledgement of his experience.
    So, to me, Kyle ‘ s next 20 winners will come very rapidly. It’s a no brainer , by using his experience to claim the 4kg.

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