TARA and Philippe Vigouroux made it back-to-back Bathurst Soldier's Saddle (1,400 metres) victories on Monday when Lemaire ($4.50, Winona Costin) bested Great Buy ($3.90 favourite, Michael Heagney) in the dash for home.
Having claimed the 2021 saddle with Zouologist the Hawkesbury trainers made their return to Tyers Park with another leading hope in Lemaire, who came to Bathurst in great form with a win at Wagga and a runner-up finish at Scone.
The well-backed runner lived up to his potential in the $34,000 feature race when he hit the lead with 100m to go, getting the better of Great Buy to win by a half length.
Winning jockey Winona Costin said it was a special success for both herself and her family.
"It played out perfectly. He's a great frontrunning horse but with the speed on he's able to take a sit. He's very versatile," she said.
"My dad owns a little share in him so it's a big win. He's a horse with a lot of talent so I had plenty of faith in him."
Costin has been on Lemaire for all four of the Zariz gelding's starts this preparation, including his tough 15th placing in the $150,000 Provincial Championship.
His top two performances against easier company at Wagga and Scone set up Lemaire for a strong showing in Bathurst's ANZAC Day feature.
The slight dampness in the Bathurst track would also not be a concern for Lemaire, who had missed a placing just once in his six starts on soft turf.
Lemaire got away well from the inside barrier in Monday's race but there was speed outside from both Great Buy and Morpheus.
He's a horse with a lot of talent so I had plenty of faith in him.- Winona Costin
Costin opted to take the sit behind Great Buy while Whatsin got behind Morpheus to keep Poseidon Ruler posted three wide with no cover.
Behind those front five runners O'Not A Doubt ($4.40, Ashley Morgan) was travelling soundly along the rail behind Lemaire.
- READ MORE: Seaside Sandy wins 2YO Gold Nugget in closely fought contest at Tyers Park
- READ ALSO: Cameron Crockett thinks Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing's Soldier's Saddle is due for prize money increase
- READ ALSO: Dean Mirfin's got faith Whatsin can take it to her rival runners in Bathurst RSL Club Soldier's Saddle
On the turn for home Lemaire quickly raced up in the gap between Great Buy and Morpheus to put himself among the sprint battle for victory.
Out wider, Whatsin was winding up for a run and Poseidon Ruler continued to battle on despite the horror trip.
However, they weren't going to be able to get themselves involved in the fight for victory as both Lemaire and Great Buy pulled clear of the bunch.
Lemaire made the pass on Great Buy just inside the last 100m and extended his lead to the line.
O'Not A Doubt launched a late attack along the rail to take third place a further length and a half behind Great Buy.
Dean Mirfin's local hope Whatsin ran home well for fourth just ahead of Morpheus.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: