THE 160 kilometre trip from Grenfell to Bathurst is one that harness racing trainer Mark Hewitt has made more times that he could count, and he finally got a reward for being a supporter of Bathurst Harness Racing Club meetings – a very big reward.
Hewitt was the man who sat in the gig behind Makes Every Scents as she held on to win the Gold Tiara Final for two-year-old fillies, a feature race that held Group 1 status and a $50,000 winners’ purse.
The trainer had arrived for the 28th edition of the Gold Crown Carnival hopeful of making the final and while Make Every Scents was impressive in winning her heat, others such as Team McCarthy’s Bamako Mali and Paul Fitzpatrick’s Sally Fletcher were more highly fancied to claim the overall spoils.
But Bamako Mali was scratched and the Fitzpatrick’s hope had to contend with a tricky barrier six draw as he chased his third Gold Tiara win.
Hewitt, who also had My Blackeyed Susan qualify for the final, started to look a better prospect.
Sally Fletcher still held $2.50 favouritism, but Make Every Scents started as the $3.70 second elect as Hewitt contested the Gold Tiara Final for just the second time in his career.
Whereas Hewitt’s first attempt came up short – Burning Stature nudged out by a nose by Armida in 2007 – this time the Western Districts trainer-driver got the nod. It was also long-time owner John Gibson’s first Gold Tiara success.
“I’d like to thank the Gibson family for their support and sending me horses the calibre of Makes Every Scents, it makes it a lot easier to train when they have got that breeding behind them,” Hewitt said.
“The Gibsons have shown the foresight to buy Scent herself and breed this filly and I am lucky they kept this one.
“To hold and promote this meeting is wonderful. The Gold Crown has been a marvellous idea and they’ve done wonders with it. We all strive to win it, we start when we get them as a yearling and we have one thing in mind and that is to have a win here tonight on Gold Crown night. I was lucky enough to have two in it and to win with one is even better.”
Though Hewitt certainly had luck in the 1,730 metre final, much of the win was also due to a smart drive.
He took up position outside early leader Karalta Impulse, while behind him Gotta Glow galloped and checked Ashlee Siejka’s Bathurst hopeful Ameretto as well as inconveniencing Sally Fletcher.
It saw the favourite lose ground on the leading pack while Make Every Scents looked comfortable sitting just off the pace as Karalta Impulse led them through a 60.4 seconds first half.
Hewitt made his move with 300m to run and was able to pull away to a three lengths advantage over nearest rival Mustang Jet on the bend.
While Make Every Scents tired a little and the favourite made a late charge, it was to be Hewitt’s night as his filly held on to win by 21⁄4m. Second was Young trainer-driver Glenn Wilmot aboard Mustang Jet ($44.90) with Sally Fletcher running a big race to place third.
The win made it three in a row for Hewitt’s Four Starzzz Shark x Scent filly and win number three is one he will remember for a long time to come.
Harness Racing New South Wales
Makes Every Scents