RACING a horse capable of winning two Group 1 races in a short space of time is a dream come true for many harness trainers, but having a pair of them is extraordinary.
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It's a special experience that George Plains trainer Bernie Hewitt is currently going through as his talented duo of Ripp and Jewel Melody claimed two of the state's biggest juvenile prizes at Menangle on Saturday.
Ripp ($1.65, Doug Hewitt) backed up his recent Bathurst Gold Chalice victory with another Group 1 triumph in the $125,000 APG Gold Bullion Series 3YO Colts and Geldings Final (1,609 metres).
Jewel Melody ($1.18 favourite, Bernie Hewitt) then annihilated her field in the $150,000 APG Gold Bullion 2YO Fillies Final by more than 20 metres, adding to her Bathurst Gold Tiara success.
Doug Hewitt opted to take the sit on Ripp behind his main danger, My Ultimate Byron ($2.90, Cameron Hart), before peeling out to challenge the leader on the run for home.
He thundered home to win by seven metres over Black Onyx ($101, Lleyton Green) and My Ultimate Byron, giving Doug Hewitt his second Group 1-winning drive he claimed his debut success at the top level just over a month ago.
"The other favourite drew inside him and it was going to be a tactical race. We thought the one would hold the lead so Dougie took the drop behind him, so the biggest risk would be not getting a run at him but that run eventuated on the turn," Bernie Hewitt said.
"He put it away pretty easily in the end and put it beyond doubt as soon as he went for home.
"Doug's having a hell of a ride with him and it meant a lot to win his first Group 1 with him, and now he's got his second. He's ticked pink, of course, and he looks forward to what's ahead for him."
There's also a big future ahead potentially for Jewel Melody after the way she made her rivals look average in Saturday's fillies final.
On the approach for home Promiseland was the only who could keep pace with Jewel Melody but with 200m to go Hewitt's superstar filly kicked away for a margin of victory you don't often see in a Group 1 race.
"She's the benchmark at the moment and I don't think anyone around has put their hand up to match her, but that doesn't mean it's not going to happen," Hewitt said.
"It's great to have her. Each time I take her out she handles every assignment that's put in front of her. It's a really great feeling to have a filly like that in the stable.
"I didn't really have to push her to the limit. I deliberately left the earplugs in and didn't have to release them because nothing was threatening her. She probably could have gone faster if she wanted to but it was just about winning the race, first and foremost.
"She's still gone 1:53 doing that so I'm not sure what she'd run if, say, she's was dragged along into a race."
Hewitt also added a Group 2 crown to his exceptional night when Brendan Barnes drove Aurora Joy to a hard fought win in the APG 2YO Fillies Gold Bullion Final (1,660m) up at Queensland's Albion Park.
"I sent her off to Gem [Hewitt] for a couple of weeks to get her ready for me and Brendan's been driving her well. She won her heat from the death seat and had a better trip for the final in the one-one and she got the job done as well," Hewitt said.
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