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A portrait of Best Mate, commissioned by his owner Jim Lewis, has been unveiled at Exeter Racecourse

A commemorative portrait of legendary racehorse Best Mate now hangs in ‘The Best Mate Room’ at Exeter Racecourse. The painting, entitled “Best Mate, Final Triumph. Exeter 2004” depicts the horse in the paddock at Exeter racecourse, just prior to his final win.

When Best Mate returned to Exeter the following year (November 2005) for his seasonal comeback in the William Hill Haldon Gold Cup, he tragically died from a heart attack while racing. Jim Lewis, who owned the 10-year-old gelding, originally hoped he could be buried beside the racetrack rails at Exeter Racecourse but red tape and Devon County Council scuppered these plans and the chaser was cremated instead.

Best Mate’s ashes were eventually scattered at Cheltenham – the scene of his three Gold Cup victories, but the new painting will pay tribute to the gelding’s affiliation with Exeter racecourse. Lewis commissioned artist L Brooksby to paint the portrait. “The commission was appropriate as I am the official artist to Exeter racecourse,” she told HHO.

The painting is to be reproduced as limited edition fine art prints at £75 each and will be available at Exeter Racecourse or by clicking website. Jim Lewis will be donating 30% of the proceeds to Best Mate charities.

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