Classy mare Catkins will try to defend her Breeders Classic title when she lines up in the Group 2 $175,000 feature for the mares over 1200m at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Catkins beat subsequent Group 1 Coolmore Classic winner Steps In Time in last year’s Breeders Classic and Waller considers the grey mare still weighted with 57kg this year after carrying 55.5kg to victory on 2014.
“The conditions of the race are ideal for her,” Waller told AAP.
Waller has also nominated his other well performed grey mare Arinosa for the Breeders Classic as well as last start Flemington winner Calming Influence. There are a total of fourteen mares nominated for the Group 2 feature.
“She is probably a bit more forward than Arinosa and is a class mare,” Waller said.
Under the conditions of the set weights plus penalties, Catkins has had 3kg added to the base weight of 54kg for her eight wins since January 1, 2013, with her two wins at Group 2 level responsible for the extra weight this year.
As well as winning last year’s Group 2 Breeders Classic, the Dubawi mare beat Sharnee Rose and Angel Of Mercy in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Catkins is yet to win at Group 1 level but has been placed on three occasions in the top company including a nose second to Waller’s outstanding mare Red Tracer in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington during the 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
She was also placed third in last year’s Myer Classic behind Bonaria with her other Group 1 placing coming when third to Steps In Time in the in the 2014 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Catkins was sent for a break following her Myer Classic third and Waller has given her two barrier trials, a second at Randwick and third at Warwick Farm, in preparation for her return to racing on Saturday.
Plucky Belle from the Peter Moody stable and the John Sargent trained Neena Rock are also resuming in Breeders Classic and finished first and second in a Randwick barrier trial on January 15.
Plucky Belle hasn’t raced since finishing tenth to Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 2 $200,000 VIRBAC Animal Health Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
While Neena Rock is resuming from a short break after finishing fourteenth of sixteen behind Bonaria in the Myer Classic.