Confirmed for an appearance in this weekend’s Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens, trainer Chris Waller has revealed Catkins in unlikely to line up for a tilt at the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 12th, even if successful this weekend.
Clear favourite for success amongst a classy field in the Emancipation Stakes on Saturday, Waller told TVN the ideal goal for the Dubawi mare is without doubt the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) one week later on April 19th.
“She is well up in the markets for the Doncaster, it is not my intention to run there but obviously the option is there but it is not my preferred option” Waller said on Wednesday.
“My preferred option is to run her in a fortnight in the Queen Of The Turf, it is a Group 1 races worth $1 million against her own sex.
“She is going to be up against Messene in the Doncaster, carrying the same weight or more than some of the good horses, she could run a nice race in a Doncaster, but it is not the preferred option for me.
“It is a tough mile; I like to give them at the 2000m or be a dead set hardened campaigner over the mile before you try a race like the Doncaster.”
Having returned to the track in scintillating form this preparation, Catkins displayed a strong turn of foot to pip Steps In Time on the line in the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) first-up before strolling home to win the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) on March 8th.
Unable to justify favouritism when third in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) last time out, the in-form four-year-old was allocated the ideal barrier 6 for this weekend’s Emancipation Stakes and will carry 1.5kgs less than she did last start.
“She is very well placed under the set weights and penalties, start contract to last start” Waller added.
“She was in trouble a long way from home in the Coolmore, I liked the way she fought to the line and certainly hasn’t taken a backward step.”
Following her impressive start to her current preparation, Catkins is currently featured as outright second favourite in early betting markets for the 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes at a quote of $6, behind stable mate and market leader Red Tracer, currently featuring at $4.80 odds.
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