Popular mare Catkins returned to racing for a typically impressing win at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight ago, and while conceded she is yet to hit peak condition, trainer Chris Waller is confident the conditions of Saturday’s Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) will play into her strengths.
Catkins continued to drift in betting markets prior to jump in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) as punters rallied around a number of her rivals, but the talented grey mustered a huge turn of foot in the final straight to win with complete ease.
Understandably thrilled with the first-up performance produced by the daughter of Dubawi, Waller told AAP he is confident a step-up to 1400m and 58kgs handicap the mare will be required to carry in the 2015 Golden Pendant suggests another competitive performance.
“She gets in with the same weight which is in her favour,” Waller said.
“She is not at her peak yet but is getting close and after Saturday, hopefully she goes to Melbourne.”
Catkins has been a strong and consistent performer for Waller through each of her racing preparations since first appearing on course competitively in 2012; posting 16 wins and a further thirteen minors through 35 starts.
Remaining the country’s most talented and consistent race horse yet to break through for a maiden win at the highest level, Catkins returned this year for success in the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m); progressing to a similarly impressive win in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) before running second to Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
Returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) on March 28th, Catkins again ran second in each of the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m), but had clearly had enough when sixth in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) on the Gold Coast on June 20th.
Catkins has also been included in nominations for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield this weekend.
The 2015 Golden Pendant final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.