Tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt was on hand at Caulfield to cheer his horse Evening Glory (Smart Missile) to victory in the Warren Moore Handicap (1200m).
Hewitt, a Wimbledon and dual US Open champion, part-owns Evening Glory along with fellow former Australian tennis professionals Sam Groth and Peter Luczak as well as star coach and television pundit Darren Cahill.
Evening Glory was first past the post but lost a race at The Valley on protest first-up but luck went the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained gelding’s way at Caulfield.
Warren Moore Handicap
Jamie Kah rode Evening Glory to victory for a syndicate that includes tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt at Caulfield. Picture: Getty Images
Premiership-leading jockey Jamie Kah gave Evening Glory the perfect run behind the leaders but had to conserve her mount’s finishing sprint as long as she could.
Evening Glory ($6) did enough to get past the $201 chance Zoujea before holding off the charge of the unlucky Housay, scoring by a long neck.
“Lleyton is up in the stands, I think you could hear a big ‘come on’, so they’re all very happy. Just hoping the horse can go on with it now,” Sam Freedman joked after Evening Glory’s win.
Kah picked up the ride on Evening Glory after apprentice Lachlan Neindorf was suspended for careless riding on the sprinter at The Valley.
Kah said she thought Evening Glory had the quality to see off his opposition but his lack of acceleration was a concern.
“I was confident but he doesn’t have a big sprint on him, this horse, so I was trying to hold him together as long as I could,” Kah said. “He’s a big, strong animal and when he puts it together, and he keeps his mind on the job, he’s a good horse.
“I was confident on the turn but I knew there’d be horses swooping late. Luckily he held on.”
Housay’s jockey Craig Williams lamented his lack of luck on the grey in the straight. Rival jockey Damien Oliver on Promotions held Williams and Housay in a pocket in the straight, causing the $2.90 favourite to be held up until his winning chance had gone.
“I tested a couple of waters (gaps) but they just didn’t open up for me,” Williams said. As it turned out he got out at the 60-metre mark and ate the line. He’s a really good horse in the making. Unfortunately I haven’t had luck on him in the last two starts.”
Article courtesy of Racenet