Aiming to build on his first 50-win season in Hong Kong, jockey Lyle Hewitson heads into Wednesday’s eight-race card at Happy Valley primed to reunite with One For All in a cracking Class 3 Mui Wo Handicap (1200m).
Happy Valley’s first fixture of the season marks the start of the DBS x Manulife Million Challenge, which runs until 21 February, 2024. The competition is for horses racing in Class 3 and above, with points awarded for first, second, third and fourth place finishes.
A first-up win for One For All would secure 15 points in the HK$1.5 million competition.
“Hopefully we can get a bit of beginner’s luck and get Mark (Newnham) off to a great start. He’s a lovely horse and he has stepped up in grade now, but with the weight relief that should be in his favour,” Hewitson said.
One For All is trainer Mark Newnham’s first runner in Hong Kong. The on-pacer nailed a hat-trick of wins last term, but faces a stiff test tomorrow night against Reward Smile, Superb Capitalist, Allgreektome, Packing Bole and more.
“That’s the unfortunate thing (possible fast pace), to start off in this sort of field makes it a bit more difficult. He’s a horse that’s shown good gate speed and a lot of speed, so the plan will still be to pop out and press on for the first half furlong.
“I think we’re going to have to be wise about the situation, there’s three or four other noted frontrunners, so it does make it a bit more difficult but he is a horse that’s doing well, so hopefully he has a few more tricks up his sleeve,” Hewitson said.
Hewitson has seven mounts, also partnering Goodmanship, Durham Star, Snowalot, High Percentage, Eighteen Palms and G One Excellent at the city circuit. “Eighteen Palms is also in good form and he will have come on with the season under his belt. That actually looks like a very competitive race with three or four others that are in good form at the moment but he’d be a livewire. I think Snowalot just continues a good vein of form,” Hewitson said.