The Chris Waller trained Catkins was rewarded for her consistent Melbourne form with a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley today.
Aided by a first class Craig Newitt ride, Catkins ($9) was able to sneak up along the fence to overhaul the Peter Snowden trained Cameo ($8) to win by a length with the favourite Lake Sententia ($4.20) a half a length away in third spot.
Catkins has been racing in fine form and had a win and two placings from her three Melbourne starts and was stepping up to the 1600m for the time.
Newitt gave the four year old mare every opportunity to run out the extra distance after finishing third over 1410m in the Group 2 $220,000 Blazer Stakes at Flemington on October 5.
After beginning well, Newitt settled Catkins in fourth spot and with Porcellanus, who was wearing the blinkers on for the first time, setting a good speed and the grey mare was always going to run home strongly.
“She just has a great will to win and she is very genuine. I had no fears with the mile (1600m), I just had to switch her off,” Newitt said.
“She just relaxed so well during the run, got a little bit awkward on the corner, just needed a little bit of an opening, her acceleration put them away pretty quick.”
Michelle Payne on third placegetter and favourtie Lake Sententia made a long sweeping run from the 800m and after challenging for the lead wide out on the home turn battled on well to finish a brave third.
Newitt was pumped to have ridden a winner late in the day leading up to his ride on Foreteller in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).