Frenchman Jean Dubois has racked up a milestone first metropolitan winner in Australia with Mate Story in the Highway Plate at Rosehill.
Dubois, who trains a small team for Woodpark Stud in the NSW Southern Highlands, was thrilled with the performance of Mate Story who dropped back from the 1900m of his recent fourth at Canterbury to 1500m on Saturday.
That did not concern his trainer, who said tempo not distance was the key to Mate Story ($4.80), who fought off favourite Acquittal ($1.80) to win by a neck.
“It is my first city winner. It’s been a year and finally it’s happened,” Dubois said.
“The tempo wasn’t strong enough for him last time at Canterbury. He needs a good pace and he got that today.”
Dubois said he was unlikely to set Mate Story for the Country Championship, believing 1400m was too short.
Mate Story’s jockey, Jean Van Overmeire, added to the international flavour.
Born in South Africa and schooled in England, Van Overmeire is a mature apprentice with Sydney trainer Bjorn Baker and agrees Mate Story needs a solid pace.
“As soon as you break stride on him it’s over,” he said.
“He wore winkers today and that definitely helped and he was tough at the end.”
Fellow jockey Jay Ford had no excuses for the runner-up.
“He played up at the gates again but the winner was too good,” Ford said.