Catkins will have the chance to record a maiden win at Group 1 level in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Royal Randwick tomorrow and trainer Chris Waller believes that she is heading into the race in career best form.
Catkins started her 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow victory over Lilliburlero in the Group 2 New South Wales Thoroughbred Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 7 and she made it two wins from as many starts this preparation when she took out the Group 2 Millie Fox Quality (1300m) at the same venue on February 21.
The Dubawi mare lost no admirers when she was unable to run down Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 7, but she was able to return to winning form in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28.
Waller admits that the 1600 metres of the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes is not ideal for Catkins, but he told Racing Ahead that the five-year-old could not be going any better heading into the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick this weekend.
“Catkins has never been in better form,” Waller said.
“The mile is not her strongest distance, but she has had some good wins and placings at the distance all the same.
“She won at Moonee Valley a week before the Myer one year and she ran second the week later backing up.
“She is in career best form and that is all that I can say.”
Catkins is joined in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes field by stablemates Intimate Moment, Telepathic and Amicus, but Waller does not expect the trio to be good enough to win the Group 1 event.
Intimate Moment has performed fairly without winning in the Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 and the Epona Stakes (1900m) at the same venue at Rosehill Gardens on March 21, while Telepathic produced similar efforts in the same races.
Thousand Guineas winner Amicus brings a different form line into the Queen Of The Turf Stakes and will be dropping back in trip after she tired late to finish sixth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28.
Catkins is currently available at 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes odds of $4.60 and is the pick of the Waller selections from Telepathic ($19), Amicus ($21) and Intimate Moment ($26).