THE inside gate, race favouritism and the state's leading driver on board - all the pressure was on Keayang Kreuzer to deliver Gemma Hewitt her maiden Group 1 success in Wednesday night's TAB Regional Championships Western Final (2,260 metres) at Bathurst Paceway.
But the four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere lived up to the hype as Luke McCarthy drove Keayang Kreuzer ($1.85) to victory by a neck over her father Bernie's runner Crazy Shippo ($15, Jason Hewitt) to end Hewitt's Group 1 search.
Hewitt had come close to scoring success at the top level back in March when Kashed Up finished second in the Bathurst Gold Chalice.
However, Wednesday truly was Gemma Hewitt's night, as she also claimed the third place finish with her other runner in the race, Kash Us Back ($3.30, Brad Hewitt).
Hewitt, who watched the race from the parade ring alongside her mother Cath, said witnessing her runner's success after two minutes of tension was a special feeling.
"I think tonight watching on was more nerve-wreaking than being in the gig. We had Luke on for the first time but he's very good at what he does. I had no dramas with that, but this horse has a few tricks at the start and that makes you nervous watching on."
Keayang Kreuzer showed no such troubles at the start of Wednesday's final as he got away cleanly and stablemate Kash Us Back settled on his outside.
There was less joy for Bernie Hewitt in the gig of Rock Fisherman, who galloped immediately as the gates folded back.
Kash Us Back wanted to race harder midway through the event and driver Brad Hewitt let loose, sending his runner ahead of Keayang Kreuzer to take control of the race.
On the run for home McCarthy patiently brought the favourite around the outside of Kash Us Back while Crazy Shippo ducked to the sprint lane to launch his winning bid.
No-one else could go with the leading trio.
Kash Us Back faded over the last 200m while the remaining pair fought out a great duel to the winning post, where Keayang Kreuzer succeeded in a 1:56.3 mile rate.
"When dad galloped at the start it changed the complexion of the race a lot, and I was happy with how Kreuzer was able to lead," Hewitt said.
"Kash Us Back was very keen on the outside and wanted to run was Luke was happy to take a sit, knowing he could come to the inside or outside - whatever opened up. That didn't worry me.