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Lyle Hewitson got the favourite home in the third race (Images: HKJC)
Turf Talk
Lyle Hewitson and Luke Ferraris were both on the board at Happy Valley tonight.
Hewitson would have been the toast of the Beer Garden after the third race because he made no mistake bringing home the favourite Red Har King, despite a worrying moment at the top of the stgraight.
The Tony Cruz-trained Australian gelding by So You Think had finished second in his two previous starts in class 4 events over 1650m and now had pole position draw.
The horse jumped well and Hewitson sat still allowing a couple of others to go ahead, which left him two back on the rail in a race where there was not much pace on.
The pace picked up and he was able to switch his mount into a one out and one back position with cover rounding the final turn.
However, the leader did not negotiate the corner well and the two horses behind him switched out simultaneously which forced Hewitson way wide.
Nevertheless the horse had plenty in hand and accelerated well to hit the front 150m out.
He had enough in hand to stave off the late challenge of the 25/1 outsider Amazing Teens and won by a neck.
It was Hewitson’s 18th win of the season and leaves him in 7th place on the log, 32 wins behind Zac Purton, who is on 50, and 17 behind Mauritian South African Jockey Academy graduate Karis Teetan, who is on 35 wins.
Ferraris only had two rides on the night and after finishing fourth in the third race he was on an 18/1 shot in the fourth race over 1200m, the Ricky Yiu-trained Mega Bonus.
This gelding had only managed finishes of ninth, eleventh and tenth in his last three starts, all over 1200m.
Those three unplaced runs followed a win over this Happy Valley course and distance back in September, but he was drawn in pole on that occassion and now had to negotiate draw eleven.
Nevertheless, Ferraris rousted the rangy horse from the off and managed to clear all the horses on his inside and gain a big early lead. He then relaxed the horse, allowing the others to get closer. However, he let him go again before the final turn and stole a march on the others.
It looked for all money he would be swamped as he reached the 150m, as he looked to be tiring.
However, superb rhythmical use of the whip in his left hand by Ferraris saw the gelding keep going to win by half-a-length from the favourite High Rise Soldier.
Ferraris has had 16 wins now and is in joint eighth place on the log.
Meanwhile, Keagan de Melo is getting a lot of rides but has not had a winner for the last six meetings and is locked on eleven wins for the season.