Two-year-old Catchy has stamped herself as the filly to beat in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes after storming home to beat Limestone on the line in this afternoon’s Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude F (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse.
Catchy recorded two impressive wins in her first two starts and started this afternoon’s Prelude race a clear favourite, but was forced to settle off the pace of early leaders Artic Angel and Pandemonium after the pair flew out of the gates and set a keen early tempo.
Jockey Craig Williams bided his time aboard the daughter of Fastnet Rock upon arriving at the final straight, but the hoop was clearly confident in what he had beneath him when he found a gap outside the main field and set about chasing down Limestone.
Locking in a fierce late sprint battle with her talented rival, Catchy pulled a nose clear at the line to take her place at the Blue Diamond Prelude F winner.
Williams is faced with a tough decision as to which of Catchy or the Ciaron Maher-trained colt Jukebox he will ride in the Blue Diamond Stakes 2017, but said that there is plenty to like about the filly.
“The gear worked really well for her today and we had a nice run,” Williams said after the race.
“We presented early and I could see the grey horse (Limestone) that pipped me last time getting up on the inside and Damien’s (Lane) already had a great day.
“I asked her to flatten out which is the first time she’s been put under that pressure and she did. I’m glad she prevailed.
“True to her form, she’s better after exercise. She’s a two-year-old girl that is built like a three-year-old boy. It’s really good.”
Co-trainer Tom Dabernig was on hand for Catchy’s win this afternoon and believes that she will be tough to beat under the conditions of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
“I love her versatility,” Dabernig said.
“We saw in her first-up start she came from off the pace and then we rode her closer second-up.
“On both of those occasions she wasn’t hit with the whip and today we just rode her back with the winkers foer the first time and she savaged the line.
“Take nothing away from Limestone, I thought it was an excellent effort and she’s got a great turn of foot, but I think our filly is exceptionally good and I think the 1200m of the Blue Diamond is going to be right up her alley.”
Catchy has firmed into $6 favouritism in early Blue Diamond Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au.