Promising Avontuur-sponsored apprentice Lyle Hewitson made it two Greyville features on the trot in the same silks when he rode another finely judged race to win Sunday’s R250 000 Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes on the Paul Peter trained Fort Ember.
It was a week earlier at the same venue where Hewitson had steered Rikitikitana to victory in the Gr3 Christmas Handicap for trainer Sean Tarry and the young rider made no mistakes again in the Bakos silks on New Year’s Day.
He also rode Rivarine for Mike Azzie to win the Gr3 Lebelo Sprint at Turffontein on Saturday.
On Sunday the winner was saddled by Gauteng trainer Paul Peter, who celebrated a profitable public holiday at the office with both his runners winning – Blue Berry Pie, also ridden by Hewitson, shedding her maiden in the third race.
With Olma leading the local attack after winning the race last year, the Gauteng raiders always looked to hold the edge in the feature, with Gr2 Gauteng Guineas winner Heaps Of Fun a popular favourite.
Littleblacknumber set a modest gallop just a length in front of Heaps Of Fun, with Fort Ember and Impala Lily further back.
Into the straight, Heaps Of Fun and Littleblacknumber came under pressure, as Hewitson kept Fort Ember at her task, with Impala Lily finishing well.
But there was no beating the strong galloping visitor as Fort Ember came home strongly to beat the staying on Impala Lily by two lengths in a time of 96,64 secs.
The top two were well clear – 3,50 lengths ahead of Dawn Calling, who was the first 3yo home as she held off last year’s winner Olma for third cheque.
The 18-10 favourite Heaps Of Fun disappointed, only managing sixth and 7,90 lengths behind after being given every chance by Anton Marcus.
The rest were well beaten.
The Dean Kannemeyer runner Miss Minver failed to finish. She appeared to falter and fell in a horrifying incident halfway down the straight.
There was no news on jockey Morne Winnaar or the horse, as we wrote.
In an ironic twist, Hewitson picked up the indisposed Winnaar’s ride in the very next race and duly won on Mr O’Neill to grab a personal hat-trick on the afternoon.
The Miss Minver incident appeared unrelated to the bizarre burnt strip of turf at around the 350m mark. The grass had apparently been dyed after burning after a tractor hydraulic oil spill. Shavings were scattered to avoid the horses being distracted by the dark patch.
Bred by Arc en Ciel, Fort Ember is a daughter of Elusive Fort out of the twice winning Kahal mare, Glowing Ember.
She was signed for by trainer Paul Peter for R60 000 on the 2014 CTS Ready To Run Sale.
Fort Ember was registering her first stakes win and has notched 5 wins with 3 places from her 9 starts for stakes of R455 875.
Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Greyville, South Africa, January 1, R250k, 1600m, turf, good, 1.36.64
1 – FORT EMBER (SAF), 58.0, b f 4, Elusive Fort (SAF) – Glowing Ember (SAF) by Kahal (GB). Owner Dr K G Bakos & Mr G M Bakos & Messrs I Levitan & P A Peter; Breeder Arc-en-Ciel; trainer PA Peter; jockey L Hewitson
2 – Impala Lily (SAF), 58.0, b f 4, Trippi (USA) – Barberton Daisy (SAF) by Western Winter (USA)
3 – Dawn Calling (SAF), 53.0, b f 3, Trippi (USA) – Acquavella (GB) by Danehill Dancer (IRE)
Margins: 2.00, 3.50, 0.10