Leading Victorian trainer Mark Kavanagh has launched a five-horse assault on next month’s The Goodwood including Catapulted who was the narrowly defeated runner-up in the Adelaide sprint feature last year.
Five-year-old Catapulted is one of 34 sprinters nominated for the $350,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) this year having been beaten less than half a length by Velocitea in the Morphettville showdown 12 months ago.
First-up this season Catapulted won the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield ahead of the Peter Moody-trained Avenue.
At his next two runs, however, Catapulted has failed to produce the same form finishing 14th to Eagle Falls in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day and then second last in the Group 3 D C McKay Stakes (1100m).
While Kavanagh is hoping his Catbird gelding Catapulted can improve form in time to be a competitive force in this year’s The Goodwood, his best chance at securing the Goodwood win this year looks to be Shrapnel.
The 2011 The Distinctive Homes Goodwood will run on Sunday May 8 and along with Catapulted Kavanagh has also nominated Redoute’s Choice five-year-old Dr Doute’s, Fastnet Rock gelding Undeniably, in-form mare Valentine Miss and exciting runner Shrapnel.
Lightly-raced Charge Forward colt Shrapnel has had seven starts to date but is already a dual stakes winner and Group 1 placed.
After running a close third to Warm Love on debut in the Listed Queen Adelaide Stakes (1000m) last February, Shrapnel went on to break their maiden status next start winning the Group 3 Marsh Breeder’s stakes (1200m) at Morphettville ahead of last year’s AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Yosei.
Shrapnel was ultra impressive during the spring including their close third to Star Witness in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day at Flemington.
When bought back this year Shrapnel failed to beat home any runners when finishing last in the Listed Redelva Stakes (1000m) in February, but returned to form last start winning the Group 2 Yallambee Classic (1200m) by one and a half lengths over Happy Trails on March 14.
A successful performance in The Goodwood will see Shrapnel Royal Ascot-bound.
Meanwhile Valentine Miss also showed promise coming within a nose of winning one of the traditional Goodwood lead-up races, the DC McKay Stakes at Morphettville on April 16 when a flying second to Streetcar Magic.
“She has improved out-of-sight since coming here (to Morphettville),” Kavanagh said of Valentine Miss.
Prior to the DC McKay, Valentine Miss was an eye-catching fourth beaten just a length by fellow Goodwood hopeful, the Matthew Ellerton-trained Charge Forward mare Response in the Group 1 Sportingbet Classic (1200m).
DC McKay Stakes winner Streetcar Magic has also been nominated for The Goodwood by trainer David Jolly along with stablemates Arinos, Basil Da Man and Tramuntana.
Despite doubts about making the trip to Adelaide, John McNair has nominated his last-start All Aged Stakes champion Hay List.
Other notable nominees for The Goodwood include Oakleigh Plate champion Eagle Falls, 2010 Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily, the Mick Price-trained Dubleanny who is a stablemate of last year’s winner, Richard Jolly’s Mossman three-year-old Stirling Grove, last year’s Golden Rose winner Toorak Toff and Miss Octopussy.
A game third to Response in the Group 1 Sportingbet Classic last month, Tom Hughes’ progressive Lonhro mare Miss Octopussy made lightweight of 59kg which she carted to victory in an 1100m Handicap at Caulfield last Saturday.
“She (Miss Octopuss) drops down from 56.5 to 52 kilos (for the Goodwood),” Hughes said.
“It will be a very strong race but there won’t be any black Caviar there.”
Early entries for the $350,000 Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) were also taken today with 27 three-year-olds nominated.
2011 The Distinctive Homes Goodwood Nominations
|3||BASIL DA MAN||David Jolly|
|4||BELFAST BOY||Gordon Richards|
|6||BEYOND PARDON||Robert Smerdon|
|9||CRYSTAL LILY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra|
|10||CULMINATE (NZ)||Darren Weir|
|11||DIPLOMATIC FORCE||Wayne Nichols|
|12||DOUBTFUL JACK||Peter G Moody|
|13||DR DOUTE’S||Mark Kavanagh|
|15||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes|
|16||HAY LIST||John McNair|
|17||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon|
|18||MISS OCTOPUSSY||Tom Hughes|
|19||MOSHE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|20||NORTH BEACH||Gordon Richards|
|24||RESPONSE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra|
|25||RUE MAPLE||Darren Weir|
|27||STIRLING GROVE||Richard Jolly|
|28||STREETCAR MAGIC||David Jolly|
|29||TOORAK TOFF||Rick Hore-Lacy|
|32||UNDUE||Daniel J Clarke|
|34||VALENTINE MISS||Mark Kavanagh|