Classy filly Catkins has produced an incredible sprint in the final stages of the 2014 Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) to beat Steps In Time by a nose Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Taking up a resounding lead in the final straight, Steps In Time looked on track to claim a third straight victory in the Rosehill Group 2 event, but was unable to maintain the high tempo as Catkins moved through in the final 150 metres to pip the Joseph Pride-trained six-year-old in a photo finish.
Producing one of the most consistent 2013 Spring campaigns of any Australian runner, Catkins has returned the track in 2014 in fantastic form, and is on track for another strong preparation.
Racing Manger of Chris Waller’s stables Liam Prior said he was happy with the first-up result and was quick to praise efforts in a particularly talented field.
“This mare has done a marvellous job in the spring and she’s returned in great order” Prior said at the race’s conclusion.
“She just tries very hard. She’s as honest as the day is long and full credit to Hugh (Bowman); he popped her out off the fence at the right time and really knuckled down.
“Full credit to the second horse too, she tried very hard and is a very good mare.
“Our horse is certainly on her way up and I know Chris has very high aspirations for her throughout the autumn.”
After narrowly running second with Red Tracer in the 2013 Breeders’ Classic, jockey Hugh Bowman produced a riding master class in the 2014 edition, leaving a late charge to the absolute perfect moment.
“I was pretty confident” Bowman said of his run up the straight following the race.
“Memories flowed back from last year when I was on Red Tracer; circumstances were almost identical, similar track conditions.
“I just tried to keep her balanced and keep her fighting because I could feel I had the measure of the other one at about the 100 metre mark.”
A tilt at the 2014 Newmarket Handicap is now sure to be on the cards for Catkins, having responded well to every task offered so far this preparation.
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2014 Breeders’ Classic Results
|1||3||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||1||55.5kg||$3.90|
|2||2||STEPS IN TIME||Joseph Pride||Jim Cassidy||0.1L||6||57kg||$6.50|
|3||6||WHITE SAGE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.4L||3||54kg||$2.40F|
|4||4||SHARNEE ROSE||Kris Lees||Christian Reith||3.6L||7||55.5kg||$21|
|5||1||STREAMA||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||4L||4||59kg||$7|
|6||5||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4.4L||2||55kg||$12|
|7||8||PRETTY PINS (NZ)||John P Thompson||Jason Collett||7.8L||5||54kg||$151|