With father and leading trainer-driver Bernie serving a short suspension, and brother Doug unavailable due to rugby league commitments, the pressure was on Jason Hewitt at Dubbo on Sunday.
Having only recently returned to driving after a number of years out of the game, Jason Hewitt took the reins of the Bernie-trained Scarlet Babe in Sunday's Red Ochre Mares Classic Heat (2,120 metres).
He went on to produce a clinical performance in the gig, taking the lead early from gate one and maintaining that hold before powering home late to win and secure a spot in Friday night's $30,000 Group 3 final.
"He's been doing a bit of work at home but it was only three or four months ago he got his licence back," Bernie Hewitt said of his oldest son.
"He's back in the game as my second driver behind Dougie now. He's not on full-time but he's handy to have.
"He went well (on Sunday). He picked the start good and had the good gate-speed and then controlled the race."
Scarlet Babe ($3.10) got out to a commanding lead by the time the field rounded the bend for home and while Steve Turnbull and Bid For Red ($4.60) surged late, Hewitt's hope won by 1.7m.
Hewitt has two confirmed starts for Friday's feature - Scarlet Babe and Bathurst heat winner Royal Story - while Ima Black Beauty is an emergency for the race.
Scarlet Babe has drawn gate two while Royal Story is the class runner of the field and will start from the extreme outside on the back row.
"If she could ... get to the lead and dictate it would be ideal," Hewitt said of Scarlet Babe before Monday's barrier draw.
"We set a few mares for this race."
Jason will drive Scarlet Babe again while Bernie's suspension finishes on Thursday so he'll return to drive Royal Story in the field of 11.
The Craig Cross-trained Island Banner won the Red Ochre heat at Penrith in impressive fashion and has drawn gate five for the final.
Cross' hopes have been boosted by the booking of leading driver Amanda Turnbull.
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The Red Ochre event wasn't the only feature heat at the Dubbo track on Sunday, with two qualifiers of both the Little Red Jug and Garrards Golden Gig series contested.
Steve Turnbull's Firestorm Red and the Luke Hooper-trained Lightning Scooter won the Little Red Jug heats while Cindy Bourke and Robert Clifford saw Masterchief and Headline Hunter respectively win Golden Gig races.
Friday night is the Dubbo Harness Racing Club's Carnival of Cups meeting and a bumper crowd is again expected on the night, with the Dubbo Show also being held at the showground.
There is eight races on the card with six of those having cups on offer.
Racing will start 5pm.