The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Kiwi star Catalyst will be on show in the early spring looking for a slot in the $15 million The Everest race before competing in his confirmed new season target in the 2020 The Golden Eagle.
New Zealand trainer Clayton Chipperfield confirmed to the NZ Racing Desk this week spring plans down under with his stable ace, Darci Brahma four-year-old Catalyst aiming at the $7.5 million The Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on October 31.
A fortnight prior, Randwick hosts the world’s richest turf race with the 2020 The Everest also a potential target for Catalyst should a slot holder be impressed with the galloper’s early spring form.
Catalyst has had nine starts for six wins to date including the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) back home last November.
He travelled to Melbourne in the autumn and was narrowly beaten when runner-up to Queensland champion Alligator Blood in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
Catalyst raced just once more that prep when sixth to the same horse in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at HQ in late February before his autumn was cut short due to a minor injury.
Kept fresh since, Chipperfield is keen to return to the track with the Group 1 winning gelding who is being prepared for the second edition of The Golden Eagle.
A set weights race open only to four-year-olds, the Chris Waller-trained Kolding won the inaugural edition of The Golden Eagle last season on the back of a Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) victory the month before.
Catalyst is at a longer quote in futures markets on The Everest 2020 paying $34 to win the 1200m feature on October 17.
Chipperfield has the horse set for barrier trial at home in New Zealand on August 12 before a likely first-up run at Randwick in the Group 2 $500,000 The Shorts (1100m) on September 19.
Catalyst is also set to run in the traditional The Golden Eagle lead-up with the $500,000 The Silver Eagle (1300m) on Spring Champion Stakes Day, October 10, also on the cards.
“In between the Silver Eagle and the Golden Eagle is The Everest, so if he can get a slot in that, that is possibly on the cards as well,” Chipperfield said.
“The way he won his 1200 metre and 1400 metre races here, I don’t think the 1200 metres of The Everest, relatively early on in his prep, would be too much of an issue.”
Waller’s sprint champ Nature Strip dominates pre-field The Everest betting at $3.50 and is one of two confirmed runners along with Classique Legend.
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