Chris Waller’s quality mare Catkins looks likely to bypass the Stradbroke Handicap and start in the Group 2 $300,000 Best Security Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Waller’s main aim for Catkins is to collect that elusive Group 1 win over the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival and he believes the best way to achieve that for his grey mare is to concentrate on the fillies and mares races and head towards the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20 via the Dane Ripper Stakes.
“It’s very unlikely she will run in the Stradbroke and it is most likely she will run in the Dane Ripper Stakes,” Waller told The Courier-Mail.
Catkins has been placed at Group 1 level five times including two seconds at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival in the $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and in the $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).
“The last six months have clearly been her best and there’s no reason to say she can’t bring that form to Brisbane,” Waller said.
“She worked well on the course proper (before the races at Rosehill on Saturday) and she is ready to race over 1350m next weekend.”
Waller went on to say that if Catkins had already won a Group 1 race she would definitely be included in the Stradbroke Handicap field but that not being the case he will keep the five year old grey mare against her own sex to try to ind the Group 1 winner’s stall.
“If she had a Group 1 next to her name she would be running in the Stradbroke for sure but I just want to try and win that Group 1 with her and make it as easy as possible to do that,” Waller said.
“You can’t underestimate the Stradbroke and you can’t underestimate the Tattersall’s Tiara two weeks later.”
Catkins is one of twenty-one fillies and mares nominated for the Dane Ripper Stakes with stablemate She’s Clean also among the entries.
Peter Moody is almost certain to stick to fillies and mares races with Bring Me The Maid who is also a first acceptor for the Stradbroke Handicap and will join Peron in the Dane Ripper Stakes.
Stradbroke Handicap favourite Lumosty is also among the nominations but trainer Robert Smerdon will run her in the Group 1 Handicap if she makes the final field of sixteen, otherwise she will go around in the Dane Ripper Stakes.
Smerdon has also nominated his smart mare Politeness and will make a call later in the week if she will travel to Brisbane for the Dane Ripper.
While Srikandi is also using the Dane Ripper Stakes as a backup if she fails to gain a start in the Stradbroke Handicap.