20 year old South African champion apprentice Lyle Hewitson equalled an apprentice win record set in 2007 by Gavin Lerena, and previously held for almost 40 years by the legend Michael Roberts, when he registered the 283rd victory of his fledgeling career, getting the fancied Roy Had Enough home to win the fifth race at Greyville on Sunday.
Trained by Frank Robinson, the Roy Moodley-owned son of Pierro was favourite in the seven horse field, but had to dig deep to reel in the strong galloping, Celtic Captain.
With his extensive work riders experience, Lyle was accepted at the SA Jockey Academy after matriculating at Kearsney College.
He had his first ride as a fully-fledged apprentice at Scottsville on 6 March 2016.
His first winner came on his third book of rides at Fairview on 18 March 2016 aboard Blizzard Belle..The win was for Yvette Bremner, who was the first person he ever rode work for as a kid. His Dad, ex-jockey Carl, is the assistant at the Bremner yard and the win came in his silks.
Lyle joins a limited edition of champions, and with 9 months to go of his apprenticeship could well extend the 284 to a number that will stand for a very long time!
Michael Roberts, who rode his first winner 48 years before Lyle at the same track, was a fifteen -time champion jockey of South Africa and twice champion jockey of Britain.
Champion apprentice Gavin Lerena went on to become SA Champion jockey.
Lyle, who is currently second on the SA national jockey log, and is the youngest rider in the Avontuur sponsored jockey stable, has made the famous Cape wine and breeding establishment proud.
“Beyond his extraordinary natural ability in the saddle, Lyle’s most endearing characteristic is his humility. He has made us so proud and we can just imagine how his family must be feeling right now. With his academic ability, he could have pursued any career and it was a very brave choice choosing the tough life of a jockey,” said Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.