A run of bad luck in Highway Handicaps finally turned for Terry Robinson when Lady Demi got the decision in a deceptive photo finish at Randwick.
Robinson was ruing his luck when Lady Demi and Rioli went to the line together and said he didn’t think she’d won.
“No I didn’t, I thought we got beat,” Robinson said.
“I haven’t had much luck in these races, Zardoro should have won his last three probably and she should have won last start and maybe a few others before that, so it’s nice to get one.
“Her three runs in the Highways have been great and she deserved it.”
Lady Demi had no luck in the last Highway Handicap she contested when she struggled to find clear running and finished sixth to Charlotte’s Heart but from a wide draw on Saturday, Brock Ryan ensured she had galloping room.
The mare, who started $7.50, peeled off the back of the leading division in the straight and got the stride in on the line to deny Rioli ($19) by short half-head with Press Box ($9.50) another length away third.
Robinson said the mare had raced keenly earlier in her career and it had taken time to teach her to settle but their work and patience was finally being rewarded.
“She went through a stage where she was unfortunately over-racing and her record should probably be better than it is,” he said.
“We had to ride her quiet to get her to back off and it’s nice now she’s a lot more tractable.”
Hit The Target started equal favourite but couldn’t match the finishing sprint of the placegetters, finishing fourth while the other top fancy, Charlotte’s Heart, was never in the hunt and finished 11th.