Patchit Up Baby came from last to first in a matter of strides and ran on to win the R135,000 Allez France Stakes (Non-Black Type) over 2200m at Turffontein on Saturday.
The Ormond Ferraris-trained five-year-old is in hot form currently, winning a Conditions Plate over 1800m in December and then going down a whisker to Coby in a Pinnacle race over 2450m last month. It was the four-time winner’s first feature success.
Jockey Gavin Lerena, who had already ridden two winners to take his tally for the season to 105 for a winning strike rate over 25.12%, bided his time at the back of the field until heads turned for home.
Seal My Fate led early before Inaninstant took over as they entered the turn. Silver Stripe was third, ahead of Tobesuretobesure on the inside of Tiger Flame. Parisienne Chic and Cidada were followed only by Patchit Up Baby.
Inaninstant had a couple of lengths in hand as they went through the 300m marker, but apprentice Lyle Hewitson was unaware that Lerena had lit a flame in the favourite, who had already sliced past most of the field and had the leader in her sights, or that Silver Stripe was looming up menacingly on her inside. A couple more strides and Silver Stripe pounced, taking a narrow gap between the pacemaker and the fence, with Patchit Up Baby edging ever nearer.
Lerena allowed Patchit Up Baby to hang in towards Silver Stripe and the favourite crept ahead at the 200m marker.
Lerena kept encouraging Patchit Up Baby with a right-handed crop and the five-year-old mare ran on to win by 1.50 lengths.
Silver Stripe kept going gamely for second, 1.75 lengths ahead of Inaninstant, who stayed on well. Seal My Fate was fourth.
Aldo Domeyer also rode three winners on Saturday, at Kenilworth, two for Andre Nel and the other for Geoff Woodruff, who scored a cross-country double with Street Gaze scoring at Turffontein.
His three-timer started in Race 2 aboard Nel-trained first-timer Straat-Kind. The Var filly was slowly away but soon got the hang of her job, weaving through horses to lead more than 200m out and the even-money favourite kept her advantage to the line, eventually winning by 3.75 lengths gearing down.
Aviatrix had been knocking on the door for some time but finally posted her first career win in Race 5 over 1800m, justifying 15-10 favouritism in the process.
Domeyer produced her with a strong challenge at the top of the straight and they went up to join issue with new leader Second Nature 400m out.
She soon led and, although Rubyana put in a strong late run, Aviatrix had the race in the bag and won by 2.25 lengths. Second Nature finished third another 3.50 lengths back.
Nel and Domeyer were celebrating again 35 minutes later after 13-10 favourite Kampala Campari won Race 6 over 1600m.
Grant Behr rode two winners, while Brett Crawford and Paul Reeves shared the training honours with Nel.
Punters who followed racing at Fairview and Greyville on Friday had a few shocking surprises, with the Pick 6 pools at both meetings not being won in their entirety.
Totals of R364,481 from Fairview and R21,132 from Greyville have gone into the TAB’s Pick 6 carryover pot.