LYLE HEWITSON CELEBRATES VICTORY
Ken Nicol: Sean Tarry’s Tilbury Fort flashed home from off the pace to win the inaugural G-Bets Summer Cup at Turffontein, giving his trainer an amazing fifth win in the opening seven races.
Later maiden Zillzaal made it a round half dozen with an easy win in the ninth.
Last year’s Summer Cup runner up Fort Ember set a sedate gallop, followed by Cash Time, Dawn Assault, Arctica and Cascapedia.
As expected it became something of a cavalry charge with 400m to go, with Cascapedia looking dangerous on the inside rail.
But as they entered the final 100m, Tilbury Fort unleashed a withering finish down the centre, and despite shifting to the inside under a left handed drive from Lyle Hewitson, he swept on by in the final strides to win by just over half a length.
Dawn Assault ran the race of his life in staying on for second, while 3-1 favourite Cascapedia was beaten just over three quarters of a length into third.
Top weight Coral Fever briefly looked dangerous wider out late on, but giving away 5,5kg and more to the entire field proved too much, and he was a far from disgraced fourth.
After his short head defeat in the Charity mile after a rest, Tilbury Fort had to be a big contender with a mere 52kg of Hewitson, but was still allowed to go off a generous 15-2.
The current champion jockey was appreciative afterwards.
“It’s special when you’ve done so much work on the horse, and he’s been so good to me.
“I am so fortunate and thankful to ride for such a totally professional yard.”
Of his great day, trainer Tarry said:
“I thought it would be tough today, and would have been happy with two winners. But as the day went on I grew more confident, as you do when things go your way.
“Tilbury Fort likes racing fresh, so I wasn’t worried about it being his second outing after a rest.”