“LAST Kingdom galloped pillar to post and showed true grit to bring up my first HK winner, in the last race of the year,” enthused Lyle Hewitson after riding trainer Douglas Whyte’s charge to a victory that was a long time coming for the SA champion on Sunday.

“A big thanks to Mr Douglas Whyte for the opportunity aboard this individual and all the help of late to make this possible. Congratulations to all the winning connections and in particular owner Mr Tang Ming Hei,” said the 22-year-old after finally getting into the Hong Kong winner’s enclosure on his 141th Hong Kong ride.

He added: “Hong Kong Racing is a cauldron of fire and if you’re not doing well you can burn to ashes.”

The South China Morning Post reported: “While many jockeys have struggled after arriving in Hong Kong, none this century had lasted more than 100 winless rides before leaving, but Hewitson persisted and can now enjoy the fruits of his labour.”

Lyle’s dad, Carl Hewitson, told the Sporting Post: “We are all very excited and thrilled that Lyle has gotten the monkey off his back. His timing could not have been better and he can start 2020 on a clean slate. He has been spending a lot of time with Dougie Whyte and the experience and confidence has made all the difference.”

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