HIGH class Gold Standard showed he is very much in contention for the major races this season when finishing an honourable and unlucky fourth in the Gr3 World Sports Betting Matchem Stakes over 1400m at a packed Durbanville on Saturday.

Off for eight months, giving weight to most of the field and a gallop short, he was as friendless as if his Facebook page had been deleted and he drifted from 12-10 to 9-2. Twice he was squeezed against the rails by second-placed Table Bay – and at one stage Richard Fourie had to stop riding – yet his mount was beaten less than two lengths into fourth.

The stipes were most unhappy about the second incident and announced that they intend holding an inquiry while Fourie said: “Gold Standard is not a 1 400m horse but I would just about have won If I’d had a clear run. We are going to lock horns hard with Legal Eagle this season.”

A well-satisfied Glen Kotzen added: “It was a lovely run considering everything and it will be the Green Point next.” – Michael Clower/Gold Circle.

Photo: Liesl King.

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