Not even a change of tactics could prevent consistent four year old mare Lems Cameo from claiming victory in the Kaye Matthews Tribute at Laidlaw Park last Monday.
Trained by Andy Gath and driven by his wife Kate, Lems Cameo had been leading in her races, but was unable to take the early advantage in the Kaye Matthews Tribute from barrier four. Instead, Kate Kath was content to let the Marnie Bibby trained and driven Sorority Sister stroll to the front, as she eased Lems Cameo out of the charge for the early lead.
Gath sat quietly until the 600 metre mark, when she took Lems Cameo out three wide to make her run. Lems Cameo took the lead before the home turn and charged clear to record a convincing 13 metre win from Franco Seelster, with the Peter Manning trained and Kerryn Manning driven Additallup flashing home from the rear of the field to grab third.
The change of tactic in handing up the lead wasn't a concern for Andy Gath, who had every faith in Lems Cameo's ability to win.
"We always thought she was a winning chance," he said.
"She has been very consistent since coming over from New Zealand.
"It was a race I did think she could lead in, because she usually gets away from the gate very quickly. Things just didn't work out that way.
"The horse that did hold us out was the one we thought would be capable, so really it was a 50/50 chance. Kate was happy to hand up and take a sit in the end.
"It was a bit of a change of tactic for us, but it showed the horse's versaility."
Lems Cameo has rarely put a foot wrong since arriving from New Zealand, making her debut on Australian soil with a win at Maryborough and then winning at her next start at Shepparton.
The mare finished second at Geelong and Ballarat, before her win in the Kaye Matthews Tribute at Stawell.
Andy Gath believes Lems Cameo will continue to improve with more racing and should be able to string together a few more wins at least.
"She will keep going for sure and I think she can win a few more races," he said.
"She was a cheap buy for us. When I was in New Zealand for the New Zealand Cup with Carribean Blaster, we picked her out and bought her fairly cheap, so she has proven a good buy.
"She's an honest mare and does a lot right, so she'll definitely win a few more for us."
Gath said he would continue to target races on the country circuit for Lems Cameo to gauge her improvement.
"I think if she picks up two or three more wins in the country, then we can take her to Melton to give her a test," he said.
The next assignment for Lems Cameo will be the Jims Mowing Pacers Handicap at the Geelong meeting at Melton tomorrow, where she will have to overcome a 10 metre handicap to continue her winning run.