By Alexander Grant
Dean Mirfin’s Art ‘N’ Ollie came close to booking a spot at Randwick after a fourth placing in Sunday’s Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Wellington. Art ‘N’ Ollie ($15) dictated the terms early on the $150,000 race and led the field into the turn for home.
Unfortunately Mirfin’s mare couldn’t stay ahead of a charging trio of runners to her outside with 100 metres to run. That charge was led by eventual winner Distinctive Look ($6). Art ‘N’ Ollie finished less than a length away.
Mudgee-based trainer David Smith was lost for words after the win, the fourth in Distinctive Look’s past five starts. The win booked Smith a ticket to the $400,000 Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick on April 1, where he will be joined by fellow Mudgee horse Galaxy Warrior who was half a length back in second.
“He’s a tremendous horse,” Smith said. “The form of this horse, you will not find better form out in the country.”