BRETT Crawford’s CTS graduate Lady Of The House, the 14-1 outsider racing from the widest 15 draw, held off Justin Snaith’s favourite Gimme Six, that jumped from draw one, by a nose in a controversial final battle to the line in Saturday’s Gr1 Woolavington Stakes at Greyville. It resulted in a race review followed by an objection by jockey Anthony Delpech on the grounds of interference in the latter stages.
Piere Strydom had taken Lady Of The House to the front right from the start and dictated the pace but in the closing stages he allowed his mount to shift across towards the path of the closing Gimme Six. It became very close between the two with Delpech claiming interference but the objection was overruled by the stipendiary board that decided Gimme Six would not have beaten Lady Of The House.
There was little doubt that Piere Strydom allowed his mount to shift ground under pressure to the point that exchanges got tight as Delpech, who was coming from behind his rival, found himself cramped to the extent that he had difficulty using his stick.
The stipendiary stewards ruled that Gimme Six would not have beaten the winner and the result stood. Strydom’s tactics in the finish were questionable but he again proved himself a master judge of pace.
Much as he did in last year’s Vodacom Durban July where The Conglomerate had the worst of the draw but sent to the front by Strydom, he gambled early and took decisive action. With some sedate early fractions, Strydom went for broke coming up the hill at the 600m mark and pinched a few lengths on his rivals which proved to be the master stroke. Lady Of The House stuck gamely to her task to hold Gimme Six albeit in rather controversial circumstances.
In her warm-up for the Woolavington, Lady Of The House had finished a close-up third behind second-placed Edict Of Nantes in an Allowance Plate although she was in receipt of 8.5kg from the Derby winner.
Lady of The House, by Dynasty from Overarching, was a R3,7-million purchase for Mayfair Speculators. Bred by Highlands, part of Ridgemont, she was sold at CTS Book 2 in 2015.
-Photo: Lady Of The House wins Woolavington Stakes.