Kavanagh Considers 2011 Oakleigh Plate for Rubiton Stakes Winner Catapulted

Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mark Kavanagh is yet to make a decision on whether he will enter Saturday’s Group 3 Rubiton Stakes winner Catapulted in the 2011 Oakleigh Plate on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 26.

Catbird gelding Catapulted scored a hard-fought win in the Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday in a promising return to the track.

After struggling to find room after the turn for home, Catapulted burst clear within the final 100m and showed true talent in running down early leaders Avenue and Solar Charged for the win.

Post-race Kavanagh named the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) as a possible target for the five-year-old, run over the same distance as the Rubiton.

The Oakleigh Plate, however, is an open handicap and after Saturday’s success the weight Catapulted is allocated could take him out of contention.

“The problem with the Oakleigh Plate is it’s a handicap. He may be better suited down the line somewhere else,” Kavanagh said.

Catapulted has won 10 of his 19 career starts and is Group 1 placed after running second behind Velocitea in the Goodwood at Morphettville in May last year.

Kavanagh is already planning an Oakleigh Plate start for his Fastnet Rock gelding Undeniably who ran a gallant second behind Whitefriars in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) in a photo finish at Moonee Valley on January 28 carrying a hefty 58.5kg.

Undeniably would get into the 2011 Oakleigh Plate field with a near minimum weight, the lightly-raced four-year-old having had just nine career starts for three wins, three seconds and a third.

After their commanding Rubiton Stakes win, time posted within a half-second of the race record, the Oakleigh Plate would be a great chance at Group 1 glory for Catapulted.

If entered for the Oakleigh Plate Catapulted will likely face Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily and the biggest danger of them all, Black Caviar.

Kavanagh has also expressed is disinterest in coming up against Peter Moody’s unbeaten mare.

Black Caviar and Crystal Lily are both set to resume in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington this Saturday along with boom sprinter Hay List.

The 2011 Lightning Stakes final field is released this Wednesday while nominations for the upcoming Oakleigh Plate will close on February 21.

Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the latest autumn carnival race fields, betting tips and results.

To get in on the elite betting action of the Lightning Stakes this Saturday and the Oakleigh Plate in a fortnight, make sure you open your online account with Luxbet today!