Hollywood Star to Make Racing Debut with Comedy-Inspired Colt

Ben H 9 February 2024Last Updated: 9 February 2024

Hollywood A-list celebrity recently-turned-horse-owner Matt Damon will observe his first race on Australian soil when his two-year-old colt Dale races at Randwick on the Kensington track. The horse’s trainer, Paul Messara, spoke about the race but also revealed the interesting story of how Matt Damon decided to buy and co-own a horse and then name him Dale.

Started Following Horses During the Pandemic

The Bourne Identity star has been spotted at various sporting events in Australia over the last few years and was seen watching an Aussie Rules match with Thor: Love and Thunder co-star Chris Hemsworth in 2019. More recently, he was spotted attending Derby Day in November, which is not surprising, considering he is an avid horse racing fan.

According to Messara, Damon fell in love with racing when he was on the set of the Marvel blockbuster in 2021, during the pandemic. The film was shot in Australia, and Messara explained how there was not much to do in that period for either Damon or the people around him. With Damon having time to kill while not being on the set, he started following the horses and got acquainted with Messara through mutual friend Paul O’Brien.

Damon Bonded with His Daughter Watching the Step Brothers

The story behind the name Dale is also interesting. Messara said that Damon only agreed to co-own a horse if it was called Dale, a character in the hit comedy film Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

Damon told the trainer that the film was important to him because he bonded with his daughter when she was a teenager while they were watching the comedy together. So, he wanted the horse to be named Dale, after the character Reilly played and who was their favourite of the two.

Dale Will Be Interesting to Watch

Staying true to the popular comedy, jockey Tim Clark will ride Dale wearing a checkered vest with blue sleeves, an outfit which is almost identical to the sweater vest and shirt Dale wore in the film.

As for the horse, Messara said he was “a big strong bold thing with a big white face” and also described him as “a nice horse” that will be interesting to watch. Matt Damon’s horse will run in Race 1 at Randwick-Kensington at 2:20 pm AEDT.

Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL and NRL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and five... [Read full bio]

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