Trained by astute Park Ridge South mentor Rachel Scott, the son of Lochinvar Marlow and Long Long Mama (Vesuvio – Eyre Intent) was sent out a short priced favourite for the $40,000 to-the-winner event, and duly delivered. However unlike his all-the-way semi-final victory, the 31kg black chaser didn’t have it all his own way in the big final.
After beginning well from box six, Are Ate found a challenge on his hands when the zippy Masai Princess (3) pushed up underneath him to take the lead at the post the first time.
Masai Princess maintained the ascendency down the back, opening up a two length lead and looking as though she would take some catching. Royal Albert (5) was right on Are Ate’s hammer in third place.
Swinging for home, Masai Princess looked as though she may well hang on with Are Ate hooking to the outside and yet to make any real impression.
But the last hundred metres saw the sheer class of Are Ate come to the fore. The 29-month-old clicked into overdrive and ran home like a hungry school kid to win by 1 3/4 lengths from Masai Princess with Coach Little weaving a passage through the field to finish third a further three lengths away.
Of the beaten brigade, Ipswich Melody (1) was inconvenienced as Masai Princess crossed to the rails and dropped back sharply as a result, which ended his chances. Femme Jolie (4) was tardily away and unable to make any impression on the field from there.
Royal Albert (5) sat third for the bulk of the race but was overhauled in the straight, finishing fifth. Oh That’s Nice (7) was away well and raced mid-field before finishing the race off strongly to finish fourth. Melody Serenade (8) left the traps fairly but found the task of negotiating box eight too much and was never on the track, or in the hunt.
The win was Are Ate’s 14th from 44 starts and his second Group 2 victory after he also won the Devonport Cup back in January. His career earnings are now in excess of $85,000.