Lyle ‘Claus’ His Way To A Festive Hat-Trick

Christmas Handicap wins in 2016, 2017 and 2018!

SA Champion jockey Lyle Hewitson only comes out of his time in a matter of days.

Yet such is his maturity and capability that the young star made it a personal hat-trick of Listed Christmas Handicap victories when he got Greyville specialist Matador Man up in the dying strides to pip the consistent local hope, Kazaar.

Lyle Hewitson has timed it perfectly as he glances across to note his head verdict over Kazaar (Pic – Candiese Marnewick/Gold Circle)d

Hewitson, who had flown into Durban fresh off a suspension and from a Christmas lunch with his Dad Carl in PE 24 hours earlier, rode Rikitikitana to victory for the Sean Tarry team in 2016 and and also won the Boxing Day feature in 2017 on Wednesday’s topweighted Roy Had Enough for trainer Frank Robinson.

Putting an inexplicably poor last run over the course and distance behind him – maybe his honest Charity Mile exertions took too much out of him three weeks earlier – the Tarry trained Matador Man loped behind as Nicklaus led Kazaar and Mr Roy into the run for home.

With the fast improving Kazaar grabbing the initiative in the Brian Burnard silks at the 200m, Matador Man had plenty of ground to make up.

But steering him down his well worn Greyville outside attack strip, Lyle Hewitson gained the initiative late to catch Kazaar by a head in a time of 95,63 secs.

It was only Matador Man’s second stakes success – he also won the Listed Secretariat Stakes in 2016.

Dark Moon Rising came out of the pack to bank third a further 1,50 lengths back, with Roy Had Enough in fourth.

The favourite, Joburg raider Arctica, ran no kind of race and ended up 7,70 lengths in arrears with only the pacemaking Nicklaus behind him.

A vocal support group of his loyal owners cheered Matador Man home.

The gelding was purchased by the Tawny Syndicate for R180 000 at the 2015 National 2yo Sale and took his stakes earnings to R1 383 450 has now won 6 races with 6 places from 26 starts.

He was bred by Scott Bross from the deceased Toreador (Danehill) out of the four-time winning Mogok mare, Sahara.

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