After being agonising close at Warrnambool a fortnight ago, Mattei found the right race and was too strong for his rivals, slashing clear for a 4.5length victory on his home Ballarat Synthetic track.
Freedman was thrilled to get a win with the son of Caravaggio, whom he paid $80,000 for at the 2021 Inglis Premier sale. Mattei was an eye catcher at the jump outs at the end of his 3yo season, yet luck has not been in his favour in his first two starts, facing (very) heavy tracks, racing in restricted room and then running into a smart one, but the stars aligned for his third career start on the home track.
Mattei was able to lead from pillar to post, controlling the tempo and blitzing the field at the top of the straight where he ran away with ease. Tahlia Hope, who knows the horse well having partnered him in jump outs and each of his race starts was very pleased to get the win on Mattei. “I was very happy today when Declan Bates sat off me, meaning he could hold a comfortable lead and be very strong to the line.”
Post-race Freedman explained “He was very brave at Warrnambool the other day, but perhaps was worried out of it by the leader. He was watching him the whole way rather than focusing on the task at hand. We’ve worked him in and around some other horses and adding the blinkers which has certainly done the trick.”
Now a 4yo, Mattei has taken some time to mature and may perhaps have some physical improvements to make, but there is no questioning his ability and he will be one to rise through the grades.