A desperate finish to the feature sprint at Trentham was decided by the photo-finish camera as South Island sprinter Enzo's Lad pipped Ferrando by the barest of margins to take out his second group one JR&N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) yesterday.
After mulling over the photo-finish image for several minutes judge Dick Hunt declared the Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained six-year-old the winner, the first horse to win the race in consecutive years since Mir Tiz in 1989-90.
The announcement sparked jubilant scenes in the Trentham birdcage as the large syndicate of owners involved in Enzo's Lad went into overdrive celebrating the victory.
Successful at bolters odds ($74) in 2018, Enzo's Lad was once again overlooked by punters despite being drawn to receive a dream run on the rail from a similar inside barrier to last year.
Positioned perfectly in the trail by rider Michael McNab, Enzo's Lad travelled sweetly to the turn behind the hot speed set by Ferrando's stablemate, Gift Of Power. Ferrando took over at the 300m mark with Enzo's Lad in hot pursuit as the pair set down to a tooth and nail struggle, hitting the line locked together in a sensational 1m 06.95s for the 1200m journey.
In the end Enzo's Lad took the win by a nose with stablemate Sensei capping a sensational result for the Pitman team by storming home to dead-heat with 2017 winner Signify for third.
"We went into the race with a lot of confidence as he went massive at his last start," Michael Pitman said.
Meanwhile underrated galloper Shadows Cast gave his rivals weight and a beating when he took out the prestigious group one Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m).
Shadows Cast issued his challenge early in the run home with jockey Jason Waddell driving him clear before defying a late charge from Wyndspelle to collect the prize.
And in the 3200m group three Wellington Cup the Bryce Newman-trained Gorbachev defeated deny Dee And Gee by a nose with Prince Jabeel finishing third from Mental Telepathy.
- NZ Racing Desk