Local Latrobe trainer Mark Ganderton has high hopes that his stable star Catwen Boy can hand him with an elusive win in his home town cup when the smart stayer takes on a crack field in the Devonport Cup 2013 in Tasmania on Wednesday.
Ganderton has come close to taking out the $100,000 Devonport Cup (1880m) on a number of occasions preparing three minor place-getters from four serious attempts in the feature but it is still a trophy missing from his cabinet.
This year he will saddle up a very good chance in Catbird six-year-old Catwen Boy who is the current third favourite to win the feature following 60kg top-weight The Cleaner out for their third win on the trot as they head towards the AAMI Hobart and Launceston Cups and the Patrick Payne-trained raider from the mainland Fieldmaster drawn ideally in gate two.
Occupying the next line of Devonport Cup betting is then Catwen Boy who has drawn wide with barrier 13 of 14, Stephen Maskiell to ride them on the 54kg minimum in a jockey change replacing Shuji Amano.
Catwen Boy was second to Dream Flyer in last year’s Devonport Cup after an unplaced run at the same synthetic track in the Sheffield Cup.
This Boxing Day the horse caught the eye with a narrow victory over Jakcorijim in the Sheffield Cup (1650m), an improved effort after a first-up sixth to It’s Crunch Time in the Listed Tasmanian Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and third to Sandeep over 1350m at Devonport on December 9, boosting Ganderton’s confidence they can continue that good form on Wednesday.
A stakes win from Catwen Boy will be a huge effort from the former star juvenile who underwent an operation to remove bone chips from their front knee joints at the end of last season.
While Ganderton is confident they have the class and weight to make an impact the form of the Mick Burles-trained The Cleaner cannot be ignored.
The Savoire Vivre five-year-old blew away Geegees Blackflash and Dream Pedlar by four and five lengths respectively when the first-up winner of the Listed Tasmanian Stakes over the mile last month before they won again in the exact same trifecta in a mile handicap at Launceston on January 2.
Other notable chances include last season’s Thousand Guineas winner Gee Gee’s La Quita who won the Golden Mile over 1650m at Spretyton early last month before her sixth in the Sheffield Cup, the always honest Jakcorijim who was run down in the final 100m in the Sheffield and the Stuart Gandy-trained Tasmanian Stakes fourth placed Jay Bee’s Gee Gee who is likely to be up at the front setting a hot pace along with David Miller’s veteran speedster Zellarcy.
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