Day At The Track

Bathurst Bernie has been flying

09:46 AM 07 Jun 2019 NZST
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Bernie Hewitt,Harness racing
Bernie Hewitt

Accomplished NSW Central Tablelands harness racing trainer-driver Bernie Hewitt has been riding high of late...in more ways than one!

Hewitt, who is based at Georges Plains, a small town just 15kms south of Bathurst, is enjoying his most successful season ever.

"We recently chalked up our 107th winner. We've been getting a few doubles here and there so everything is going along nicely," he said.

"There's still a few months of the season remaining so hopefully we can keep adding to the tally. Our previous best was last season, when we had 101 winners."

Hewitt, who has been driving for 40 years, showed his horsemanship talents recently at a Young meeting.

"Yes I reckon I got lucky," he said laughing.

"I did end up with a nice burn mark and bruise on my lower back. But it certainly could have been a lot worse."

Hewitt was driving five-year-old mare Ima Black Beauty (Always A Virgin-Jungle Talk (Die Laughing) in the Telstra Shop Young Pace.

After moving three wide early and racing in the death seat, Hewitt launched an attack at race leader About The Attitude (Melissa Hawke) with 500 metres to go.

The pair raced stride-for-stride until Ima Black Beauty got a half to three-quarters length clear into the home corner.

Hewitt said his horse hung in a bit onto the leader.

"As a result, I got shot out of my sulky seat and landed on the edge of the shaft with one leg out the side," he said.

"I was probably lucky that the newer gigs are a bit more balanced because otherwise I don't think I I would've been able to scramble back in.

"I've certainly had my share of spills over the years, and I did think for a moment 'here we go again!'"

But Hewitt's experience showed through. After losing the lead in the scramble, he regained his composure and rallied to get up and win by the barest of margins, a short half head.

View the video replay! CLICK HERE!

One of Bernie's sons, his stable foreman Douglas, also landed a winner at the meeting, but without any acrobatics. He was successful on Theagenes (Art Major-Willing Greek (Golden Greek) in the 2yo Pace.

And there's never going to be a shortage of drivers at the Hewitt stable, which is working 35 horses at the moment, with Douglas' brother Jason back home after spending time away through work commitments.

Jason, who was heavily involved years ago, has been refreshing his skills at the trials and is happy to be third string driver.

It's a real family affair with Bernie's wife, Cathy also hands-on around the stables, while their daughter Gemma, married to Mat Rue, prepare a big team just down the road.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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