The 2014 Golden Pendant in Sydney on Saturday is shaping up as a battle of fit v fresh with Catkins looking for back-to-back wins while Arabian Gold kicks off her spring in the Rosehill Gardens feature.
There are five Group status races on the Stan Fox Stakes Day program this weekend including the fillies-and-mares’ feature, the $300,000 Group 3 PJ’s Irish Pub Parramatta Golden Pendant (1400m).
A recent Australian Racing Board committee review saw a decision passed to elevate the Golden Pendant to Group 2 status next year with a Group 1 title likely in the future.
This year the winner will have to settle for a Group 3 victory but a tidy $180,000 first prize will help.
Heading the dozen female gallopers making up the Golden Pendant field is the Chris Waller-trained Catkins in barrier six with Hugh Bowman riding.
Twice Group 1 placed including behind stable mate Red Tracer in the Myer Classic last Melbourne Cup Carnival, Dubawi mare Catkins was last seen winning her first-up run at the track.
She was an easy two and a half length winner of the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) on September 13 and returns this weekend going up to 1400m shooting for back-to-back wins.
The fitness edge belongs to Catkins then with her major rival being the resuming David Vandyke-trained Arabian Gold.
Also a daughter of Dubawi, four-year-old Arabian Gold hasn’t raced since her second behind Tinto in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) back on May 31.
Before that the grey won three Group races on the trot with back-to-back Group 3 wins at Randwick followed by her win over her subsequent Oaks conqueror Tinto in the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben.
She may be looking for more distance then not having won over the 1400m, or at Rosehill, before.
Arabian Gold is also yet to win first-up with her best racing done two runs in where she’s won two from three second-up runs over her 18 start career to date.
Along with Catkins there are two other last start winners in the Golden Pendant this year with the returning Myamira (barrier eight) and the Kris Lees-trained Fine Bubbles (barrier 11) after her third win in four starts.
Rodney Northam’s Scone-based Beautiful Crown mare Myamira was last seen winning the South Grafton Cup (1600m) in July when ridden by the country’s most successful jockey Robert Thompson.
Fine Bubbles meanwhile won the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Newcastle on September 18, the Casino Prince five-year-old one of two in the race for Lees.
The Newcastle horseman’s other Golden Pendant hope is drawn in the outside barrier with Glyn Schofield to ride Gold Epona, the Stratum mare coming off a third to her stable mate in the Tibbie Stakes at her home track.
Tibbie Stakes runner-up I’m In The Money also backs up on Saturday, the Jeff Englebrecth-trained six-year-old in top form having run third the run before behind Bouzy Rouge in the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes (1350m) at Wyong.
Drawn at the opposite end of the field to Gold Epona with the inside running from barrier one meanwhile is the Joe Pride-trained Chintz who will be ridden by Tim Clark.
This Savabeel five-year-old was Group 1 placed in New Zealand over the mile back in April and is out to atone for a disappointing 10th behind Catkins in the Sheraco Stakes last time out.
Also coming via the Sheraco Stakes, the form of which the bookies are likely to rate, is runner-up My Sabeel for Kevin Mosses.
Drawn in gate 10 with Tye Angland to ride this weekend, New Zealand-bred My Sabeel was beaten by a notable margin in the Sheraco but is a classy veteran with recent winning form.
Three back the Savabeel seven-year-old beat home Bennetta in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Randwick, where she handled a Heavy (10) track.
Other notable Golden Pendant hopes include Sheraco Stakes fifth placed Estonian Princess who won the Group 3 James Carr Stakes at Randwick over this distance in the autumn and third in the Sheraco Neena Rock for the John Sargent stables.
See below for the full Golden Pendant 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and set weights plus penalites.
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2014 Golden Pendant Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 7 (4:25pm) – 27/09/2014
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x11316x4x1||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||6||58kg||110|
|2||6x5801112x||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||Blake Shinn||2||57kg||100|
|3||21L12327x0||CHINTZ (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Tim Clark||1||57kg||97|
|4||1215x3601x||MYAMIRA||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||8||56kg||94|
|5||20501718×5||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||Kerrin McEvoy||7||56kg||90|
|6||4194223152||MY SABEEL (NZ)||Kevin Moses||Tye Angland||10||56kg||90|
|7||90222110×3||NEENA ROCK||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||9||56kg||90|
|8||0x52437151||FINE BUBBLES||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||11||56kg||89|
|9||22364×2532||I’M IN THE MONEY||Jeff Englebrecht||TBA||3||54kg||85|
|10||x080x18683||GOLD EPONA||Kris Lees||Glyn Schofield||12||54kg||81|
|11||2x1260x220||LORNA MAY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||4||54kg||78|
|12||9x8937x846||SAINTLY PRO||Luke Mitchell||TBA||5||54kg||40|