Day At The Track

Upsets in a race-to-race double for Hewitts

12:56 PM 12 Apr 2020 NZST
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Georges Plains trainer Bernie Hewitt enjoyed a winning double on Saturday night. The first leg came when her steered Dukkah to victory
Phil Blatch Photo

He might not be a favourite with the harness racing punters, but Doug and Bernie Hewitt are certainly fans of The Mustang.

On Saturday night at the Bathurst Paceway, The Mustang delivered the father-son trainer-driver combination win number seven in his 21st career start.

He did not do it as favourite - he saluted as the $5.50 second elect - but that's a familiar scenario for The Mustang.

The three-year-old Changeover x Afalcons Dash gelding has been favourite just once in his last 10 starts.

"He's always been under-rated, they bet $8 around him and we thought he was a really good chance again," Georges Plains trainer Bernie Hewitt said.

"He's got brilliant gate speed, he only does what he has too, but he went good. They keep buttering the odds up, but we didn't mind and the owners didn't mind.

"As Dougie said, if you have a look at his mile rate on a cold, windy night, terrible conditions, he smashed everything else on the program. We are really happy with him."

That brilliant gate speed was on show in the Happy Easter Pace (1,730 metres) as The Mustang zipped away from barrier four to take the lead.

Behind him the short-priced $1.35 favourite Gotta Party Doll had found the one-one and in the end it came down to a battle between that pair.

Amanda Turnbull made her move with Gotta Party Doll inside the 400 and as they charged down the straight, The Mustang was under real threat.

But as the post loomed The Mustang kicked again and held on to win by a half-neck in a 1:57.6 mile rate.

It made it a race-to-race double for the Hewitt stable as Bernie Hewitt had steered Dukkah to victory in the Dubbo Harness Racing Club Pace (2,260m) half-an-hour earlier.

Dukkah ($2.60) had some luck after $1.85 favourite Yarraman Bella locked wheels with Terryrama when battling for the lead early on and galloped.

But his run had merit too, the Art Major x Ima Spicey Lombo gelding winning by 9.6m.

Both horses will now be put in the paddock and the trainer hopes by the time they return, the current racing restrictions in place due to the coronavirus will have eased.

"They're both three-year-olds and slipping through their grades pretty quick," Hewitt said.

"They're both capable of sort of going on to bigger and better things, so we are just going to give them a couple of months spell now.

By Anya Whitelaw
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