Connections have elected to retire popular mare Catkins after she failed to impress in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens yesterday morning.
Waller elected to trial Catkins after she failed to beat home a single runner in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m), a race in which regular jockey Hugh Bowman said that the consistent mare had failed to show her usual zest for racing.
Catkins was only narrowly denied by stablemate Counterattack in the barrier trial and she finished ahead of the likes of Angels Beach, Our Boy Malachi, Knoydart and Barbed, but she was ridden aggressively by Bowman and he wasn’t happy with the feel he received from the daughter of Dubawi.
Waller confirmed that after a discussion with owners the Ingham Family, they had made the decision to retire their favourite mare from racing and the leading Sydney trainer was quick to pay credit to one of his favourite mares.
“She has been a great horse to us all and finishes her racing career to embark on what I believe will be a successful breeding career,” Waller said.
“Catkins was a winner of 16 starts over her 38 start career, 11 of those wins coming at Group level.
“Catkins was the winner of over $2m in prize money and captured the hearts of racing fans across the country.
“The winning reception received each time she won when carrying the famous cerise colours of the Ingham Family was always extremely satisfying.
“I must thank the Ingham Family for the trust they placed in me as her trainer.
“It is with a heavy that I farewell two of the stables most accomplished performers and I look forward to following their progress through retirement.”
Catkins made her racing debut with a win at Kembla Grange in January of 2012 and she worked her way through the grades as a three-year-old before she claimed a maiden black-type victory in the Listed PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) in April of 2013.
She took out the Group 3 Sportingbet Sprint (1200m) and Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival before she was narrowly denied by stablemate Red Tracer in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Catkins looked destined to add a Group 1 victory to her racing resume, but was narrowly denied in races like the 2014 Coolmore Classic, 2014 Myer Classic, 2015 Canterbury Stakes and 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes and was never able to win at the highest level, with many racing experts putting forward the opinion that Catkins was the best horse going around without a Group 1 victory.
Waller has lost a number of talented gallopers in the last month and the likes of Royal Descent, Silverball and Boban in the retirement paddock.