A Matchett Job!

Shock as Badger's Drift gelding finds his best form

The 6yo Mister Matchett bounced back to winning ways and registered his first victory in 20 months when staying on well to win the R110 000 Fairview Mile at Fairview on Friday.

JP van der Merwe keeps Mister Matchett at his task as Welsh Emperor (Greg Cheyne) arrives too late on the outside. Laws Of Succession (Lyle Hewitson) ran a close up third (Pic – Pauline Herman Photography)

Jockey JP van der Merwe takes his fair share of flak but is up with the best of his year when on song and produced a finely judged display of pace riding for Gavin Smith when holding a good advantage under his handy galloping weight all the way to the line.

The non black-type feature handicap looked tricky but the classy Cape and KZN winner It Is Written was expected to come back to his best since his switch of stables and looked to have the class edge.

But it was to be the biggest longshot in the ten horse field that would deliver the goods.

JP van Der Merwe, who won the Sophomore Plate earlier in the day on the promising Soar With Eagles gelding Story Of My Life, rode a confident race, and had Mister Matchett up with the fire all the way.

At the 250m marker the pair looked to be under severe pressure but kept their heads down and were oblivious of the storming late run from almost last by Welsh Emperor on the outside.

Into the final 100m Mister Matchett was being hailed a winner and he stayed on well to hold the flying Welsh Emperor by 0,25 lengths in a time of 96,44 secs. It was his first win over a mile.

Gavin Dean Smith

Gavin Smith – trained the winner and enjoyed a double on the day

The runner-up’s momentum made the winning margin look a lot shorter than it really was.

Laws Of Succession loomed dangerously late and was a short head away in third.

Eternal Jet maintained his recent improvement to run fourth.

The favourite It Is Written had every chance but failed to quicken and was well beaten into sixth.

Mister Matchett, who races in the blue and silver grey of Hassen Adams, was bred by Dieu Farm and is a 6yo gelded son of Badger’s Drift out of the ten-time winning Comic Blush mare, Shake Baby Shake.

He took his stakes earnings to R437 075 at his seventh win with 11 places from 41 starts.

Mister Matchett’s win contributed in no small measure to the part Pick 6 carryover on the afternoon.

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