Chris Waller’s smart mare Catkins is set to start the short priced favourite at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday and is the headline nominee for the Golden Pendant 2014.
The fillies-and-mares’ feature holds only Group 3 status but with $300,000 in prize money on offer for the 1400m showdown, the Golden Pendant is the headline race in Sydney on the weekend.
It attracted a bumper 18 nominations this morning including Dubawi five-year-old Catkins coming off a first-up win in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at the track on September 13 before her step-up to 1400m this weekend.
“I thought she was good winning first-up and the next step is to go to 1400 metres for her,” Waller told The Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday.
“It is the right program for her.”
Group 1 performed including a third in the Coolmore Classic at Rosehill in March, Catkins is also a Group 2 winner here in the Emancipation Stakes on Golden Slipper Day and was fourth in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) on June 21 in her run before the Sheraco return.
Also coming via the Sheraco Stakes are the likes of My Sabeel (2nd), Neena Rock (3rd), Group 3 James Carr winner from the autumn over the 1400m at Randwick Estonian Princess (5th) and the always honest Luke Price-trained Belle De Coeur (6th).
Catkins is eyeing a Group 1 win this spring with Waller naming the $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day on November 1 as her major aim.
“She is a very good mare that has been up to that [Group 1] level in the past and we are building towards that race with her again,” Waller said.
“I have learned in racing you can’t push things and we let things unfold and hopefully she will get to that level again. We just have stick to our system.
“The Golden Pendant is another step for her to take along the way.”
Kevin Moses’ veteran seven-year-old My Sabeel won the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) first-up back in August in the mud while John Sargent’s Neena Rock is also a Group 3 winner having saluted back home at that level in New Zealand before her down under debut for the season in the Sheraco.
The next highest rated mare after Catkins in the mix for the Golden Pendant meanwhile is the David Vandyke-trained Arabian Gold set to run first-up in the set weights plus penalties event.
Making her four-year-old debut the progressive grey won three on the trot last time in before a Group 1 second to Tinto in the Queensland Oaks over 2400m on May 31.
Before that she went back-to-back at Group 3 level in Randwick winning the Adrian Knox Stakes – Frank Packer Plate double and then travelled to Brisbane to beat subsequent Oaks winner Tinto in the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben.
Arabian Gold has had two official trials ahead of the Golden Pendant, the most recent of which she won on September 12 over 1200m at Warwick Farm in a fine effort.
Other notable Golden Pendant hopes for Saturday include the Grahame Begg-trained Bennetta coming off a Toy Show second behind My Sabeel, Kris Lees’ last start Group 3 Tibbie Stakes winner at Newcastle Fine Bubbles and the returning Myamira last seen winning the South Grafton Cup over the mile in July.
See below for the full 2014 Golden Pendant nominations with the field out on Wednesday.
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2014 Golden Pendant Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 27/09/2014
|1||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||100|
|2||BELLE DE COEUR||Luke Price||88|
|5||CHINTZ (NZ)||Joseph Pride||97|
|6||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||90|
|7||FINE BUBBLES||Kris Lees||89|
|8||GOLD EPONA||Kris Lees||81|
|9||I’M IN THE MONEY||Jeff Englebrecht||85|
|10||LADY ECHELON||Natalie Mccall||86|
|11||LORNA MAY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||78|
|12||MISS PROMISCUITY||Anthony Cummings||79|
|13||MY SABEEL (NZ)||Kevin Moses||90|
|15||NEENA ROCK||John Sargent||90|
|16||SAINTLY PRO||Luke Mitchell||40|
|17||SHAMALIA||Bart & James Cummings||84|
|18||VILLA SPLENDIDO||Garry White||72|