As he watched his son, Brad, drive three-year-old gelding Rockin Marty to victory, Goulburn-based trainer David Hewitt said that he had "never been so happy to be beaten."
This was, of course, from his seat in sixth place in the $150,000 Three Year Old Colts and Geldings Breeders Challenge final on Sunday, at Club Menangle.
"I had another horse [named Im Bruce Almighty] for the final and I was driving him and ran sixth and was really happy with him too," David said.
"I could see Brad was in the race for the win, [I've] never been so happy to be beaten."
Rockin Marty only began his racing career in late January, and, due to his natural ability and strong record throughout 2019, David said that he and his son were "quietly confident that he could have a good run."
The young gelding is one of several that the Hewitts have bred from a dam who was given to them more than 15 years ago.
"We've bred a few out of her," David said.
"An earlier one won $52 [thousand] at Menangle and had foot problems since. It's no fluke, they're a good family on his mother's side. And I've still got one more to go out of her."
After starting out of gate two, Brad ran Rockin Marty three back until he approached the long Menangle straight, when he took the young gelding onto the running line and grabbed the lead with 100 metres left in the race.
Despite a strong challenge from Lochinvar Art, who is trained by Laura Crossland, Brad and Rockin Marty held on to the lead with a well-run 1:50.8 mile. Lochinvar Art finished close behind, and Hardhitter, trained by Emma Stewart, finished in third.
With the biggest win of his burgeoning career, Rockin Marty will now be put out to the paddock until the start of the next season.
"We'll just resume him as a four-year-old," Hewitt said.
"He should come back a better horse, [and] he deserves a break."
With such sterling results in his first year of racing, trainers across the state will keep an eye out for Rockin Marty when he makes his return for the four-year-old races in 2020.
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