IT was appropriate that Lyle Hewitson set a South African record of 285 winners by an apprentice on a colt called “Shenanigans” at the Vaal on Tuesday.
That he doesn’t get up to much of that at an age when most youngsters are driving fast cars and hanging out in bars is one part of his success, the rest is pure talent and dedication.
The 20-year-old rewrote the record books by bettering Gavin Lerena’s tally of 284 (2007), a record previously held for almost four decades by Michael Roberts.
“I’m glad it’s finally over. Now life can get back to normal,” said a relieved Hewitson.
He will quietly realise, however, that the pressure will mount with each new achievement, something he will probably get used to over the next few years.
On 89 winners for the season and over 30 adrift of Anthony Delpech, Hewitson will be chasing second on the National Log this season. His many supporters will be looking for a first National Title next season.
Hewitson thanked all the trainers who had given him rides. “I’ve had a lot of good opportunities. You can’t win on horses who don’t have a chance.”
Photo: Lyle Hewitson (middle) receives a bottle of champagne from Academy Master Robert Moore. (Thanks to JC Photos).