As a jockey, Lance always had the ability to visualise a race before it was run. This second sight had reached a stage where, in major races, he would ride the race over in his head a dozen times before he went out on race day. "I'll look inwards and say to myself, 'OK, I've jumped well, i'm in front, what's second, what's third, what's fourth?' or 'OK, I didn't jump well, i've positioned myself back at eleventh. Who's in front of me, who's outside me and who's directly behind.' Such visions however were taken a step further with the 1993 Auckland cup...
On the morning of the Cup, Marie O'Sullivan called in to see her father Clarrie Davis, who was living in a retirement village. 'Wasn't that wonderful, Lance won the Auckland Cup on Ligeiro! He's done it close and there's a protest and an inquiry but it's OK, he holds the race,' her overjoyed father told Marie on greeting her at the door.'
'Dad, Lance hasn't even raced yet! The cup's not run till this afternoon.'
Was her father loosing it? Clarrie Davis was as aware of the timing for the Auckland Cup as anyone in the indsutry. No. The old man was adamant. He'd seen the race and he knew.
Upon arriving at the track, Marie relayed the details of her father's premonition to family and friends. 'If Dad's right, no one will believe me if I tell them after the race, so I need some witnesses!'
Ligeiro got a nightmare run and with just 300 metres to the finish, was locked on the inner, unable to secure a clear run at the post. Lance pulled to the left where he saw a gap and the race favourite Mercator ridden by Chris Johnson zooming past on the outside. He'd go for it and zig-zag his way through, even if it meant bumping one or two (or 6) out of the way. Ligeiro, who relished a tough assignment, got up to win by a nose. Not long after returning to the birdcage, the protest siren sounded.
Race favourite, Mercator, had finished sixth after interference from Ligeiro and Ellerslie's stipendiary steward, Peter Linton, entered a protest - sixth against first. After a lengthly enquiry, the placings remained - 'Protest dismissed.' Lance would retain the cup, and was also rewarded with a nine day holiday, courtesy of the stewards...
Clarrie Davis was watching his television when the officials' verdict came through. He smiled happily. 'I knew that hours ago.'