Consistent mare Catkins fought back after being headed in the final stages of the race by the game Hi Belle to win the Group 3 Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 2 (1200m).
Catkins jumped from barrier twelve, in the race formerly known as the How Now Stakes, and jockey Craig Newitt made the decision to keep the four-year-old wide on the track and the decision paid off when she got a lovely run into the race on the back of A Time For Julia.
The Dubawi mare looked as though she had the race wrapped up before she was headed by Hi Belle who flashed down the outside but died on her run at the fifty metre mark.
Catkins showed that she was up to Group level when she finished second behind Commanding Jewel in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington a fortnight ago and stable representative Justine Hales revealed that trainer Chris Waller is looking ahead to Group 1 races in the autumn with the versatile mare.
“She is very tough and knows where the line is,” Hales said after the race.
“Craig thinks that she should be able to get up a mile because she is so easy to ride.
“Chris has big hopes for her in the autumn – he wants her to be his Coolmore filly.
“Right now we are just stepping her up.”
Newitt clearly has a high opinion of the four-year-old and like Hales is confident that she will be even better when she gets out to races over a mile.
“She is a beauty, she knows where the line is and that makes my job easier,” Newitt said.
“I was prepared to sit a bit wider today and I was lucky enough to jump on the back of Moody’s horse and get a nice ride into it.
“The second horse headed her but she responded again and really knuckled down and on the line she was starting to draw away again.
“To come back from 1400 to 1200 she did a great job.
“I think that she is no worries about running 1500 or 1600.
Catkins has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) but is expected to stay in Melbourne for the remainder of her 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
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2013 Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 2 Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||–||12||58kg||$2.90F|
|2||1||HI BELLE||John Gunning||Vlad Duric||0.1L||6||58kg||$16|
|3||9||FLASH OF DOUBT||Robbie Griffiths||Brett Prebble||0.3L||3||55kg||$21|
|4||10||ANABAA’S LEGACY (NZ)||Dean Binaisse||Damian Lane||3.05L||2||55kg||$51|
|5||6||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3.15L||9||57kg||$6|
|6||12||BALACLAVA LADY||Nigel Blackiston||Chad Schofield (a)||3.65L||11||55kg||$18|
|7||3||OCTAVIA||Michael Moroney||Dwayne Dunn||4.65L||1||58kg||$7|
|8||8||OUR MISS JONES (NZ)||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||5.15L||4||55kg||$12|
|9||4||LAKE SENTENTIA||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||5.55L||10||58kg||$18|
|10||7||HAZARD||Anthony Freedman||Glen Boss||5.65L||7||56kg||$8|
|11||11||PERFECTLY STUNNING (NZ)||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||6.9L||8||55kg||$31|
|12||5||JOLIE BLONDE||Mark Riley||Damien Oliver||7.1L||5||57kg||$31|