Lyle Hewitson secured the South African champion jockey title for the second consecutive season at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Wednesday afternoon and the 21 year old heads to Hong Kong for his six month contract full of confidence.
After a rare blank four days in the saddle, Hewitson extended his lead over his nearest rival Muzi Yeni when he won the first and third race.
Muzi bounced back to win the fourth race on the 10-1 Coldhardcash. But, three short, he eventually ran out of races to make the leeway up.
Hewitson, who rode 218 winners, was presented with gold cuff-links as a momento by his Agent Deez Dyanand at a ceremony hosted by Gold Circle Marketing Executive Graeme Hawkins.
Hewitson said his second championship was more special than the first after a two month injury enforced lay-off had placed him under pressure early on.
He thanked trainers Sean Tarry and Yvette Bremner, and all his other supporters. He also extended appreciation to his sponsors Avontuur as well as his energetic Agent, Deez.
He and Muzi Yeni provided terrific entertainment over the past few months.
But the tussle had an ugly conclusion on Super Saturday when the two riders were involved in an ugly in-race incident. The matter is being investigated.
Muzi’s comments after the fourth race on Wednesday are also likely to grab the attention of the NHA.
He questioned the lack of fairness and justice in the ‘supposed Rainbow Nation’ and suggested that a suspension incurred by Hewitson in April was dragged out and prolonged to the end of this season.
The Sporting Post previously raised the mechanics of jockey suspensions with the NHA.
We quote Mr Arnold Hyde’s response of 15 June 2019:
In South Africa, we find ourselves in a unique position where when a rider is suspended he effectively has a number of options concerning dates of suspension.
- He may sign an AOG and commence his suspension after his last carded ride OR
- He may elect to appear before an Inquiry Board (usually held during the ensuing week) and if found guilty and is suspended, he may commence his suspension after his last carded ride OR
- He may opt for the Inquiry transcript to be considered by the Inquiry Review Board, that meets from time to time. If a penalty is confirmed by the IRB, the suspension will commence after the rider’s last carded ride OR
- He may appeal the finding and or/penalty handed down by an Inquiry Board which is considered by an Appeal Board. A suspension that is sustained at this hearing will commence after the Rider’s last carded ride.
We also asked:
1) If a jockey is suspended, is it compulsory that he serves his suspension during that particular season?
AH: No the suspension could be served in a different season.
2) Are there any concessions granted for feature racemeetings?
AH:No there are no concessions for feature race meetings.
3) Do the same rules apply across the board to jockeys, including apprentices?
AH:Yes, the same Rules apply.
4) In Anton Marcus and Lyle Hewitson’s case, when are they going to serve their recent suspensions?
AH:Mr Marcus has yet to decide on his options and Mr Hewitson has appealed.
5) If a jockey is suspended in one country, can he ride in another country?
AH:South Africa is a SPECIFIED RACING AUTHORITY, as is Hong Kong, so any suspension handed down in South Africa will be imposed by Hong Kong and vice versa.