Despite each of the eight mares to contest this Saturday’s Golden Pendant boasting a winning strike rate of at least 20% and all bar one with a place percentage of over 50 suggesting it will be a competitive race, punters have eyes for only one of them – Catkins. They doubted the grey mare first up in the Sheraco Stakes against Bounding and they paid the price with Catkins recording a strong win. They won’t let it happen twice and she’s a $1.60 for Saturday with Arabian Gold, last year’s winner of this race, rated the only threat to her at $4.60. She is also the only other runner under double figure odds.
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1. AMANPOUR – T Clark (6)
Returned from a spell in the G2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m), settling in the second half of the field. She was being scrubbed up heading into the turn, found a bit of traffic on the point of the bend, but didn’t make much of an impression from there, running eleventh (8.6 lengths) behind Winx. Jock was very kind last furlong first up and in each of her recent preps, the 5yo mare has made significant improvement with each start however, there’s a big margin to turn around here.
2. CATKINS – J Bowman (5)
Wow, what a great mare. With Bounding coming of an impressive first up win at Caulfield, the popular grey mare got out to a ridiculous price first up in the Sheraco Stakes but she kept her outstanding record, both fresh and at Rosehill intact, rounding up her opponents in the straight to win going away by 1.3 lengths. Her second up record, just as strong.
3. ARABIAN GOLD – T Berry (1)
Made her return from a spell and had her first start for new Trainer Gai Waterhouse in the G2 Tramway Stakes (1400m). With two good trials under her belt leading into the Tramway, the 5yo mare was a well-supported commodity and after sitting second in the run, outside of eventual winner Hooked, chased hard all the way to the line, only feeling the pinch inside of the last 75m and narrowly missing out running third. Only improves with that run and off it, looks very hard to beat.
4. SLIGHTLY SWEET – K O’Hara (8)
The multiple G3 winner returned from a spell with a very pleasing effort in the Sheraco Stakes, running third to Catkins and Echo Girl. The daughter of Charge Forward had to angle back to the fence when having no luck looking for room wider out earlier in the straight, but was winding up nicely inside the last 150m and finished 2.4 lengths behind winner. She ran into another smart one second up last prep too, running third to First Seal in the G2 Surround Stakes (1400m). She has a very solid record overall but will be giving some very smart fillies a start turning for home from her wider draw.
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5. VERGARA – B Avdulla (4)
Finished too strongly first up to catch Two Blue in the final 50m and take out Mona Lisa Stakes (1350m) and off of that run, was sent out a $5.50 chance for last week’s Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle. She secured a lovely run in transit and presented strongly at the 250m but although inching ground of them late, wasn’t able to reel the leaders in. Only beaten 1.6 lengths on the line and both runs in suggest she’d have to be given some hope here on an each-way basis.
6. PEEPING – S Clipperton (3)
Made those who took the odd-on about her sweat it out when she resumed from a spell in a BM 90 (1200m), taking the length of the straight to record a narrow win over Howmuchdoyouloveme. She then secured the run of the race from an inside draw when contesting the Sheraco Stakes but dropped out to finishing last of nine, ten lengths behind Catkins. Obviously something not right last time out and she’s produced a strong trial wins since however, needed to see more from her leading into this to support with any confidence.
7. TWO BLUE – P King (2)
Kylie Buchanan’s mare produced her customary tough on-pace effort to run ¾ of a length second to She’s Clean in the G3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) last week. That followed anther second, this time by half a length, in the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes at Wyong when caught late by Vergara, with a good gap to third place-getter Oxford Heart. Taken some smart efforts to run her down last couple and she’ll give them plenty to chase here as well however, hard to see her hold them all off at this level.
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8. BERRY DELICIOUS – T Angland (7)
The Jason Coyle trained mare returned to racing in the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes at Wyong where she ran into some traffic on the point of the turn when looking for a run, before running out of space again late and finishing twelfth (7.5 lengths). She then ran into more dead-ends when contesting last week’s G3 Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle, only getting clear inside of the last 100m but finishing well to get within two lengths of winner She’s Clean. She may have gone close to being heavily involved in the finish last start with any luck. Her chances here would be much stronger than the form guide suggests.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Arabian Gold and Vergara go forward and tucking in behind them from gate five, Catkins. Sensational mare who’ll probably register her tenth Rosehill win from this, her sixteenth track appearance – outstanding. Arabian Gold was great first up and will give something for Catkins to run down with Slightly Sweet and Berry Delicious for mine, filling the minors.
2. ARABIAN GOLD
3. BERRY DELICIOUS
4. SLIGHTLY SWEET