Kylie Williams drives Sanctify to the line at Timaru. Photo: Race Images South
Sanctify was back at her winning best on Friday taking out the South Canterbury Saddlery Dash (1200m) at Timaru.
Ridden by Kylie Williams, Sanctify jumped well from the inside gate and settled on the rail just off pacemaker Gas Monkey. Williams moved her mount outside the leader coming out of the turn and ground away to get past Gas Monkey, holding off a late challenge from The Buffer to score by a neck.
Trainer Andrew Carston admits he was surprised by the win as Sanctify had been disappointing during this preparation though her performance has put any thoughts of retirement on hold.
“I was a bit shocked by the win to be honest and I don’t mind saying it,” Carston said. “I’ve always thought a bit of this horse but she has let me down in the past. It was one of her last chances and to turn in a performance like that was a bit of a pleasant surprise.
“I have always thought she was at her best over 1200m on a wet track so it was a satisfying win. The hood on and a good ride from Kylie Williams certainly helped.”
The win was Carston’s 31st for the season, his previous season best was 30 in the 2019/20 term.
“This has been my best season so far,” Carston said. “I didn’t get a stakes winner but we have had some talented horses in the stable and it is great to get past my previous best of 30 wins.”
The victory was also a milestone for syndicators Go Racing, bringing their tally to 50 for the season, their best to date.
“Go Racing are my biggest supporters so it was great to be able to get their 50th win for them,” Carston said. “Since she has hit form we will press on with her and will head to Oamaru next week.”
Raced by the Go Racing Orchestral Syndicate, Sanctify is now likely to target a $22,500 Rating R65 race over 1200m at Oamaru on the 25th of July.