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Picture: Humdinger kept running to hold off Desert Miracle (JC Photos).

A bit of a rags to riches tale! That’s how Sporting Post described the story of Saturday’s R300 000 TopBet Gr2 Joburg Spring (F&M) Challenge winner Humdinger, who reeled off three on the trot in an unlikely end-to-end victory when beating her stablemate Desert Miracle in a thriller.

Riding with plenty of confidence, JP van der Merwe took the fight to the opposition, and while Smanga Khumalo was ghosting through from some way off on the slightly ring-rusty Desert Miracle as the contest advanced, there was a stark realisation in the final 100m that the pacesetter wasn’t stopping.

In an exciting all Mike de Kock exacta, Van der Merwe kept a cool head and drove Humdinger (25-1)) to a career peak success, scoring by a neck in a time of 89.28 seconds and won by 0.2 lengths.

Desert Miracle (9-4) had been rested for seven months and wasn’t disgraced in going down to the lionhearted galloper owned by Joao Da Mata’s International Racing Club , Mike de Kock and new owner Krish Nagendran. This was the IRC’s first G2 win.

The defending champion Big Burn showed pace but faded away to run out of the money.

Mike commented: “JP rode an enterprising race and this was a win full of merit. We’re looking at options next for Humdinger. There is the Charity Mile and the Ipi Tombe, and a Cape campaign, so we’ll see.”

A R180 000 2020 National 2yo Sale purchase, the versatile Humdinger, a full-sister to the speedy East Cape-based stakes winner and 2021/22 season award-winner Glacier Gold, has now won 5 races with 6 places from 13 starts for stakes of R546 250.

Bred by Ridgemont Highlands from the Equus speed champion What A Winter (Western Winter), Humdinger is out of the five time – winning Fort Wood mare, Himalayan Hill.