The Australian-bred 4yo Our Mate Art has been something of a frustrating horse for punters to master but he looks to have gotten his act together in serious style and turned the tables on his Langerman conqueror Table Bay with a resounding victory in the R250 000 World Sports Betting Gr3 Matchem Stakes at Durbanville on Saturday.
After winning smartly on debut as a 2yo over the Kenilworth 1200m, the subsequent six-time Gr3 stakes placed galloper only registered the second win of his career last month – and now finds himself unbeaten as a 4yo and on the Cape Summer Season pecking order as a horse to follow.
That’s after he benefitted from a typically innovative and finely judged ride by Aldo Domeyer at a nicely patronised Durbanville to get the better of fellow Australian-bred Table Bay to win a race with an honour roll that boasts many horses that have gone on to bigger and better things.
The field was reduced to nine after La Favourari bolted the course and Domeyer had Our Mate Art some four lengths off the leaders Icon King and Milton as the field turned for home.
Black Cat Back flattered briefly, with Anton Marcus taking Table Bay to the inside rail as Our Mate Art surged up the centre of the track.
At the 300m Our Mate Art was hanging out and lugged inwards to join Table Bay, who was under a driving a ride from Anton Marcus.
In the end superior fitness won the day as Our Mate Art avenged his defeat by the Joey Ramsden runner in the 2016 Langerman as he went on the stronger to win by 0,40 lengths in a time of 84,06 secs.
Cape Classic winner Table Bay is another horse that has been in and out at times, but this was a good effort after a rest and return from his KZN campaign and can be expected to come on nicely.
Top Matchem trainer Glen Puller’s Silicone Valley came from miles back with a sustained effort to run third a further 0,75 lengths back, while Gold Standard was not disgraced in fourth – at his first start in nine months over a distance probably short of his best at this stage of his career.
Our Mate Art gave Candice Bass-Robinson her maiden Matchem success and races for an old Cape partnership of her Dad, Mike and owners Bryn Ressell and Marsh Shirtliff.
The gelding has won 3 of his 12 starts with 8 places for stakes of R472 475.
Purchased by the astute Marsh Shirtliff off the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Yearling Sale for A$135 000 – ZAR 1 443 700 in today’s terms – he was bred by Grandlodge Thoroughbreds and is a son of Artie Schiller and the third foal of the well-related Laureldean Dream (Stravinsky). The latter is a half-sister to champion Ad Valorem (Danzig).
Gr3 Matchem Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Durbanville, South Africa, October 7, R250k, 1400m, turf, good, 1.24.06
1 – OUR MATE ART (AUS), 57.0, b g 4, Artie Schiller (USA) – Laureldean Dream (USA) by Stravinsky (USA). Owner Messrs M W Bass, Bryn Ressell & N M Shirtliff; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer C Bass-Robinson; jockey A Domeyer
2 – Table Bay (AUS), 58.0, b c 4, Redoute’s Choice (AUS) – Gabriella (GB) by Cape Cross (IRE)
3 – Silicone Valley (SAF), 57.5, b g 7, Jay Peg (SAF) – Prize Collection (SAF) by Model Man (SAF)
Margins: 0.40, 0.75, 0.50