Even though Catkins is odds-on favourite to win back-to-back Breeders Classics at Rosehill on Saturday, the grey mare’s trainer Chris Waller is trying to remain neutral and not get his hopes up.
“I never expect them to win because it just sets you up for a fall,” Waller told Sky Racing.
“But we picked this race out a long time ago and if she’s come back as good as she was last year she will be very hard to beat.”
Catkins is set to resume in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) and with six wins from seven first-up runs under her belt, looks to begin her autumn campaign with a win.
While Waller will not confirm the mare is guaranteed to win the race for a second time, he was quick to point out everything working in her favour.
“She’s had a perfect preparation, two trials, her work’s been good leading into it,” he said.
Offering odds of $1.90 in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au and carrying just 57kg under the handicapping conditions, Catkins has no excuses when she lines up at Rosehill tomorrow. The track is even in perfect condition following rainfall overnight.
The only thing that could work against the five-year-old is the deep draw. Considering Catkins won in a photo finish after jumping from the inside gate last year, she’ll need to work hard in the early stages to make her way over from barrier nine (of ten). However she has proven her prowess from wide gates on more than one occasion so should handle it with ease.
After winning the Breeders Classic last autumn, Catkins went on to win both the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) as well as finish in the first three in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m).
Returning in the spring following a 12 week spell, Catkins only won one of her four starts – the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) but did manage to place in the remaining three, which included finishing third in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
“This race will tell us if she has come up as well as last year,” Waller said.
“We’ll set her for the Queen of the Turf Stakes. Stretching her out to the mile will be tough but if you are picking up Group Two races along the way you shouldn’t be too disappointed.”
During the autumn, Catkins will target the $1 million Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 11.
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