Fresh off a SA Derby win at the track last weekend, Adelaide trainer Richard Jolly is after back-to-back Group 1s this Saturday with Karacatis to fly the stable’s flag in the 2014 The Goodwood.
Handing Jolly, who as a 16-year-old rode Saratov to win the 1989 Perth Cup, his first Group 1 win as a trainer Choisir three-year-old Kushadasi last Saturday held on in a brave effort to win the SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville in a photo finish with Scratchy Bottom.
Jolly is back at the track seven days later this weekend then looking for another big win, this time in the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) with Hussonet gelding Karacatis.
The five-year-old hasn’t won since the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day, but hasn’t been far off them leading up to this.
After an eighth in the Oakleigh Plate in February they ran fifth to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Driefontein in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) at home on April 12.
While Driefontein backed up to win the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at her next run defeating the reigning champ Platelet, Karacatis wasn’t tested in that race.
Instead on the same day, April 26, they ran in the Group 3 DC McKay Stakes (1100m) where they finished three lengths away second to the Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained Essay Raider.
There they were ridden by Dwayne Dunn.
Dunn however is booked for the David Hayes-trained Group 1 performing filly Gregers for Saturday with Mark Zahra to replace him on Karacatis.
“He was in the wrong spot,” Jolly told AAP when speaking of Karacatis’ DC McKay run.
“I didn’t want him as close as he was and he was on the inside and probably not in the right part of the track on the day and the winner was.
“Essay Raider swooped down the middle, but late in the race Karacatis really hit the line well”.
They get a chance to improve on those runs, and their fourth in this race 12 months ago, when they face off against both of their last start conquerors then in this year’s The Goodwood.
“Last year he got beaten a length and I’d probably say he’s going as well this time in,” Jolly said.
“It’s a similar type of race, so he’s definitely a live chance.”
Pre-field The Goodwood odds yesterday were led by the Andrew Noblet-trained Sistine Demon coming over after a Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) win in Melbourne from April 19.
Next best in betting is then Miracles Of Life in her career farewell, with the Robert Sangster winner Driefontein and last year’s The Goodwood champ Platelet both also in the mix.
While Karacatis is at longer odds than all of these to win, Jolly hasn’t written them off just yet especially if they draw a good gate when barriers are announced.
“It’s a very hard race to win,” he said.
“You need to draw the right gate, be in the right spot, but he’s definitely one of the live chances in it, I feel.”
The Goodwood 2014 field is set for release shortly and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
The updated odds will then open at Ladbrokes.com.au where punters will be able to access Best Tote or SP + 20% markets on the Adelaide classic this weekend!