Arguably the country’s most talented runner yet to break through for a victory at the highest level, trainer Chris Waller has revealed Catkins will defend her Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) crown on Saturday.
Securing an impressive record of 12 race wins and a further ten minor places over her 27 competitive starts so far, Catkins has not been seen at the races since running on for a commendable third in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 1st.
Beginning her 2014 campaign in the Breeders’ Classic, Catkins jumped from the gates well and immediately settled on the heels of the races early leaders, receiving an ideal run in transit.
Finding the final straight with a clear racing line, the daughter of Dubawi locked in a sprint battle with notable sprinter Steps In Time; poking clear over the last 100m to begin her season in the best way possible.
Pleased with the condition of Catkins since her return to work over summer, Waller told AAP is confident the conditions of both the Rosehill track and Breeders’ Classic will again play into the strengths of the five-year-old this weekend despite a likely kick-up to 57kgs from last year’s 55.5kgs.
“The conditions of the race are ideal for her,” Waller said.
“She is probably a bit more forward than Arinosa and is a class mare.”
A standout for Waller over the 2013 edition of the Spring Carnival, Catkins finished second in each of her first two starts, including the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) before taking out each of the Group 3 Sportingbet Sprint (1200m) and Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) on her way to a close second in the Myer Classic.
Following up her 2014 Breeders’ Classic victory with success in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) and third in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m), the mare out of Salix Capria won the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) but was disappointing when sixth in the Group 1Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
Taking out the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) and claiming minor place finishes in each of the Group 3 Golden Pendant and Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) leading into the Myer Classic, Catkins will again target top level success in the Coolmore Classic most notably this season.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2015 Breeders’ Classic is due to be completed and released on Wednesday.
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