By Hans Ebert

Of course, there’ll be those who will try to weasel their way into the picture and take even a morsel of credit for his win. But Lyle Hewitson winning in Japan today- his first day of racing there aboard Masahaya Nice had everything to do with the young South African rider- the confidence in himself, his will to succeed and the experience he gained riding no-hopers in Hong Kong- The School Of Hard Knocks- and against world class riders like Zac Purton and Joao Moreira plus from watching and learning and riding for trainer Douglas Whyte.

Sure, this was a winner in a distance dirt race at Nakayama and, because of precautionary measures against the virus COVID-19 to an empty house, but the winning ride would not have gone unnoticed by trainers, owners and the racing media.

Think far more well-known riders- a couple struggling in Hong Kong- wouldn’t take Lyle Hewitson’s winner with both hands?

Horse racing is a funny game, especially when knowing how it all works and every which way that “pie” is shared and also just how preciously every “slice” is guarded. But wherever big money is involved, this happens. It’s about guarding one’s turf.

As for Lyle Hewitson, time will tell what happens in the two months he’ll be riding in Japan.

What’s key is that he’s got off the mark, that win is being talked about and it’s now all about what opportunities come his way and knowing when to pick the best with the future in mind.

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