Jack Milner: Lyle Hewitson finally cracked the one victory needed to claim the record number of winners by an apprentice when Shenanigans won Race 8 at the Vaal on Tuesday. Trained by Sean Tarry, Shenanigans beat Shogun with Raydaveric back in third
“I’m glad it’s finally over. Now life can get back to normal,” said a relieved Hewitson.
While obviously delighted to have established a record number of wins for an apprentice, he admits he had not thought about it until everyone started to tell him he was eight wins shy of Gavin Lerena’s mark of 284.
“I didn’t realise I was so close,” said Hewitson on Tuesday at the Vaal. “Then everybody started talking about it. But it didn’t put any extra pressure on me. I just went about riding winners and didn’t think about rewriting the record books.”
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.”
He rates one of his biggest strengths the ability to learn from his mistakes but says he does not really take criticism well. “It hurts to hear it but if it justified i realise I have to take it.”
His goal now is to extend the record to make it very difficult for anyone to catch him. “I would love to set an insurmountable number of winners but I realise records are there to be broken.”
Hewitson has had the advantage of being able to ride light weight runners but he says that might not last for much longer. “I’m getting taller and I think soon I won’t be able to ride at 52kg. I’ll probably end up riding at around 55kg.”