Chris Waller’s perennial Group 1 placegetter Catkins will bypass the Stradbroke Handicap in favour of a Group 2 run in the Dane Ripper Stakes this weekend at Doomben Racecourse ahead of a trip to the Gold Coast for the Tattersall’s Tiara on June 20.
To date the talented grey daughter of Dubawi has run in seven elite level features finishing in the money five times but without a win.
Her latest start was a second behind Amanpour in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 11 during Sydney’s The Championships, which followed her 15th career win in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in late March.
This Saturday premier trainer Waller, who secured his 13th Group 1 win for the season with Winx taking out last weekend’s Queensland Oaks in Brisbane, will resist the urge to run Catkins in the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m).
Instead the five-year-old will run against a field of fellow fillies and mares in the $200,000 Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m), which will be her first run in the Sunshine State since a brave fourth behind Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Last year she went straight into the Tattersall’s Tiara, run this winter at the Gold Coast Racecourse on June 20, on the back of a Queen Of The Turf Stakes sixth.
While the $500,000 Tiara is again the end-of-prep aim for Waller’s $1.88 million earner, this time she’ll run in the race’s traditional lead-up on Stradbroke Handicap Day.
“She will race on Saturday, but I think the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes will be her race then we will aim her at the Group 1 Tatts Tiara,” Waller told Sky Radio on Monday.
“I think we’ll miss the Stradbroke with her.”
The Dane Ripper Stakes has produced three of the past four Tattersall’s Tiara winners including Waller’s ace mare Red Tracer (2013) and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Cosmic Endeavour (2014) who both completed the double held those years at Eagle Farm, which is currently undergoing renovations.
Catkins has had two recent trials to bring her on fitness-wise for Saturday, jockey Hugh Bowman riding her for both Sydney hit-outs including her third to the outstanding Avoid Lightning over 1050m on a Heavy (9) Randwick track.
As for Queensland’s richest race, the Stradbroke Handicap, even without Catkins in the mix Waller has a trio of chances as the master horseman chases his maiden win in the classic.
Waller will saddle-up his last start Doomben 10,000 winner Boban, recent Arrowfield 3YO Sprint champ Delectation who comes off a third at the track from May 23 in black type company and German import Flamingo Star who debuted down under with an eighth in the 10,000.
The official 2015 Stradbroke Handicap field and barrier draw is set for release shortly so stay tuned.
In the meantime gear up for access to Best Tote or SP + 20% markets on the three Brisbane Group 1s on the weekend by signing up online with Ladbrokes.com.au!