Catkins stamped herself as a leading contender for the Group 1 mares races during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with a comfortable win in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm this afternoon.
Catkins was positioned just behind the leaders by jockey Hugh Bowman and she showed impressive acceleration to race away to the rest of the field in the final stages of the race to score an easy win from the fast-finishing Sharnee Rose and an impressive Dear Demi.
Trainer Chris Waller said that the conditions of the race suited Catkins perfectly and he is hoping that she will produce as strong a performance in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
“It was good and she won it with a bit of authority,” Waller said.
“I guess the conditions of the race did suit her and it will be interesting next start, whether the conditions of the race suit.
“Hopefully the handicappers see that she is not yet a Group 1 winner and will be penalised accordingly and give her a chance to win a race like the Coolmore.”
Catkins was narrowly denied a maiden win at Group 1 level by stablemate Red Tracer in the Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and Waller is of the belief that the Dubawi mare is capable of scoring a win at the highest level of racing and is thrilled that the four-year-old has shown such strong form at the start of her autumn campaign.
“You have to be winning your lead-up races to show that you deserve to be there,” Waller said.
“It is a hard race the Coolmore because it is a handicap and she deserves to be in it with a mid-range weight, but that is up to the handicappers to decide.”
Leading Sydney hoop Hugh Bowman gave Catkins a perfect ride in the Wiggle Stakes and, like Waller, is confident that the Ingham Race-owned mare is an excellent chance heading into the Coolmore Classic in a fortnights time.
“She didn’t switch off as well as she did the other day and I have an inkling that Chris is still keeping her on the fresh side.
“She has done it on her ear, but if she is going to go on to Group 1 company, and we think that she has a Group 1 in her, she needed to perform like that today.”
Waller is chasing his first win in the Coolmore Classic after finishing second with Red Tracer in last year’s race.