Expressfromtheus proved far too good for his opposition in Saturday’s WSB Grand Heritage over 1475m at the Vaal.
Ridden by Marco van Rensburg, the Stuart Pettigrew-trained runner came from off the pace to strike the front 200m from home to win this Non-Black Type race comfortably by two lengths.
Second place went to Whorly Whorly, who finished 0.75 lengths ahead of Spanish Boy, with Golden Pheasant in fourth.
Expressfromtheus went off as the 17-2 third favourite behind Oscar Wilde (9-4) and What You Are (27-4). Both Oscar Wilde and What You Are showed good pace towards the inside of the track but faded out in the closing stages. Oscar Wilde finished seventh, beaten nine lengths, with All Of Me a further three lengths back in ninth spot.
The field split into two groups with the majority of the fields racing middle to inside. Full Mast, Golden Pheasant and Street Flyer gave a bit of start to their rivals but nothing too serious.
What You Are, Naafer and Oscar Wilde led the inside group while True Words was quickest away on the outside and he was kept company by Dan The Lad.
Expressfromtheus was nearer the rear of the inside group but placed in the centre of the course. Whorly Whorly and Spanish Boy were travelling in front of him.
“I got him behind Whorly Whorly because I thought he would be the right horse to pull me through,” said Van Rensburg. “But at the 600m he was dead. I pretty much pulled my mount out, gave him daylight and he took it upon himself to win the race.
“He won a very good race.”
The move worked perfectly. The four-year-old son of What A Winter got into top gear and moved in for the kill. Once he had swept into the lead it was only a matter of who would make up the places.
It was win full of merit as the gelding carried top weight and was giving large chunks to many of his opposition. “He could be a very good horse but I believe he has his issues. I think the boss (Pettigrew) has got his work cut out for him,” added Van Rensburg.
“I want to thank Mr Pettigrew, because he stuck with me and this is the second time I’ve won this race for him.
“When we spoke about the horse and how I would have to ride him, he explained to me what had gone wrong with the horse. He was very specific about his instructions.
“He said he had fixed the horse and sorted him out and needed me to ride him exactly the way he wanted me to ride him.
“And hats off to him, the race worked out exactly the way he told me it would work out.”
The Heritage Consolation went to consistent the 22-10 favourite, Lucky Houdalakis-trained Dark Tide ridden by S’manga Khumalo, who beat off 4-1 second favourite Push Off by a head.
The WSB Sophomore 1000 also produced a thrilling finish with just one length separating the first four finishers. Sweet Sensation (10-1), trained by Corne Spies and ridden by Muzi Yeni, got up close home to get the better of 15-10 favourite Anna Capri with Captain Moresco in third and Greens fourth.