Gold Standard has been priced up 12-10 favourite in ante-post betting for the R250,000 Matchem Stakes (Grade 3) over 1400m at Durbanville this Saturday.
Glen Kotzen’s talented four- year-old charge has won three of his seven career starts including beating Edict Of Nantes in the Selangor Cup, but his best effort came in defeat, when beaten 2.80 lengths into fourth behind Whisky Baron in the Sun Met in January.
He has only been seen in public once since and that was when Kotzen gave him a grass gallop at Kenilworth last month because, in the trainer’s words, “he went wrong after the Met and we had to give him a break”.
Those who saw the colt striding so freely in that gallop were impressed, so little wonder bookmakers make him the one to beat in the weight-for-age race on Saturday.
The final field for the Matchem Stakes will only be announced today but the race is apparently Gold Standard’s first stepping stone towards another run in the Met.
Table Bay, the Joey Ramsden trained runner who won last season’s Cape Classic nearly a year ago, is second favourite at 3-1.
He subsequently finished third behind Gold Standard in the Selangor Cup, making him not that much inferior to the favourite, providing both have matured at the same rate.
The Diana Stakes, the equivalent race for fillies and mares, is the other big race at the meeting and Gimme Six is antepost favourite at 18-10. Justin Snaith’s charge ended her three-year-old career with a promising fourth behind Bela-Bela in the Garden Province Stakes and before that was beaten only 1.50 lengths into second behind Lady Of The House in the Woolavington 2000.
There is little to choose with the second and third antepost favourites Final Judgement (who she has beaten twice) and Just Sensual, who Ramsden has indicated will not run. They are on offer at 5-2 and 7-1 respectively.
Antepost betting for the WSB Matchem Stakes at Durbanville this Saturday: 12-10 Gold Standard; 3-1 Table Bay; 6-1 Copper Force; 8-1 Nebula; 16-1 Always In Charge, Black Cat Back; 20-1 Last Winter, Our Mate Art; 25-1 La Fa- vourari; 33-1 Silicone Valley; 50-1 Mambo Mime, Summer Sky; 66-1 Icon King, Perovskia, Speedpoint.
Antepost be ing for the Diana Stakes: 18-10 Gimme Six; 5-2 Just Sensual; 7-1 Final Judgement; 10-1 Goodtime Gal; 12-1 Whose That Girl; 14-1 Captains Flame, Seattle Gold, Meryl; 20-1 Leaves Of Grass; 40-1 Extradite, Elusive Heart, Rose In Bloom; 50-1 Fresnaye; 66-1 Mara, It Is What It Is. SP Nordic Breeze.