Popular mare Catkins failed to maintain an early lead when fading late for second in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m) a fortnight ago but will reportedly line up for Saturday’s 2015 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) on the Gold Coast in peak condition.
Catkins jumped from the gates particularly well in the Dane Ripper Stakes and set a noticeably quick tempo over the back straight at Doomben; pulling clear in the final straight but failing to withhold a late charge from Godolphin mare Hazard, finishing second.
Trainer Chris Waller’s Racing Manager Liam Prior told The Daily Telegraph the team has been thrilled with the talented mare’s condition in recent weeks and are confident her first-up run in the Dane Ripper Stakes following a brief freshen-up could mean the difference in 2015 Tattersall’s Tiara success.
“Coming off the short break, she just had to do that little bit of extra work to get across and lead and I think it told late,” Prior said of the Dane Ripper Stakes.
“Hughie (Bowman) jumped off and said he reckons that was the first time he’d ever led on her.
“I doubt we’ll be leading this week but the run last start has really brought her on and she’ll be cherry ripe for Saturday.”
Catkins remains arguably the country’s best current racehorse yet to break through for a win at the highest level, and Prior is hopeful she will finally post the elusive win in the 2015 Tattersall’s Tiara.
“She’s a stable favourite because she basically never runs a bad race,” Prior said.
“It would be hard to begrudge her of a Group 1 win because we’ve watched her beat plenty of Group 1 winners in her time.
“Is there a more deserved winner of a Group 1 race than Catkins?”
Finishing outside the first three only a handful of times through her 33 start career so far, Catkins is yet to run worse than second in six starts this year.
Having posting consecutive wins in the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) and Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) upon resuming in February, the Dubawi mare ran second in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1200m) on March 7th; returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) before again finishing second in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in her only other start prior to the Dane Ripper Stakes.
The 2015 Tattersall’s Tiara final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.