SHE has had her issues with the final bend at the Bathurst Paceway, but on Wednesday night it was Voodoo magic for Bernie Hewitt's three-year-old filly.
It meant Voodoo Lou ($1.80 favourite) was able to hold off a challenge from Panther Star ($5) down the home straight to win the Lion Nathan Pace (1,730 metres) for her Georges Plains trainer-driver.
While Voodoo Lou, who went from barrier three, worked three wide early before finding the head of the field as the bell sounded, Panther Star got a nice trip one out and one back.
When asked if her felt his Betterthancheddar x Voodoo Tempo filly would be able to hold on to win, Hewitt admitted: "Not really, I thought he [Panther Star] had a lovely run one-one and I thought he'd swoop."
"I actually got running off the back straight to get that little bit of a buffer on him," he said.
"He came three-wide and had a little bit of ground to make up and she hasn't been handling the last turn too good, but she got around it fine tonight on the fence.
"It was her first time in an open bridle, she was in block eyes up until now and still learning to race. I just thought she didn't really put in last week and just took the risk of letting her see a bit tonight. She seemed to fight them off pretty good."
Fight them off she did.
After a 29.2 seconds third quarter Voodoo Lou turned for home in front, but Panther Star was a close second and Amy Rees guided Ellen Shannon ($11) into the sprint lane to make her charge.
However, Voodoo Lou ran a strong final 100m to notch up the third win of her 12-start career.
While Hewitt was pleased with the effort, a 28.5 final quarter seeing her clock a 1:58.4 mile rate, he feels Voodoo Lou is not at her best.
"She's pretty strong but I don't know if she's quite at her peak, she might have dropped off a bit after a couple of her runs. She's just been blowing up a bit over the back, so I think there's still improvement in her," he said.
"She's won three out of five this term, I've just got to have a bit of a look at her and I might just run some bloods on her and make sure nothing is out, because she's just showing me a few signs that she's not 100 percent.
"In saying that she looks well, she's eating well, so I don't think there's too much wrong with her."
Voodoo Lou was one of three winners on the night for Hewitt's stable with Lady Swiss ($2.60) and Crazy Shippo ($8.50) also saluting.