The popular grey mare Catkins is back for another preparation and will be out not only to keep her impeccable fresh record of six wins and a second from seven first up runs intact, but also claim consecutive Sheraco Stakes after winning this race last year as the $1.90 favourite. This year however it’s Bounding who has opened up the $1.90 favourite after her scintillating win first up win at Caulfield a fortnight ago, with Catkins rated a $4.20 chance. Gai Waterhouse has three of the past five editions of this race with Driefontein (2013) and More Joyous (2014, 2015), and will be hoping either Echo Gal ($10.00) or Supara ($34.00) can cause an upset and make it four from six.
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1. BOUNDING – (4) 59kgs
A super impressive performance first up by this former Kiwi mare who now resides with the Snowden Racing camp, winning Theshark.com.au Stakes (1100m) by four lengths from Rich Enuff. Really left them in her wake the final furlong last start, here first since November of last year and hard to think she has improved again off it. Jumps significantly in the weights but is back to her own sex and positions up beautifully from her draw.
2. CATKINS – J McDonald (6) 58kgs
She’s won her last three fresh runs – all in Group company, in good style, won eight from fourteen at the track and judging by her two recent barrier trials in preparation for her return, will continue to improve that record to at least some degree on Saturday.
3. SLIGHTLY SWEET – K O’Hara (7) 56.5kgs
She rounded out her 3yo season with victories in the G3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) and two starts later, the J H B Carr (1400m). Given an easy trial by trainer Jason Coyle for this her first run in twenty-two weeks and worth remembering she did rattle home for third (1 length) in the G2 Light Fingers Stakes first up last prep with a similar trial effort under her belt. May found a few too slick for her over the six furlongs, but will be closing strongly late and worth sticking in multiples – especially with some cut in the ground.
4. PEEPING – S Clipperton (2) 55kgs
Gave favourite backers plenty of concern first up from a spell in BM 90 (1200m) at Rosehill recently, when taking a long time to get the better of Howmuchdoyouloveme in the run to the line, eventually registering a head margin. Trainer Ron Quinton has built a nice record with this well-bred Redoute’s Choice mare and although her first up run may not have been totally convincing, she’ll strip better for it and does come back to her own sex.
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5. ECHO GAL – T Clark (5) 54kgs
Caught late in the Toy Show Quality two starts back when second (3/4 of a length) to Amicus before falling away sharply from her on-pace position in last week’s Mona Lisa Stakes at Wyong. Wyong was rated a Soft (6) that day and could only put her unusual performance down to the track condition. Can improve here given a drier surface but would still have some question marks on her at this level and prefer to go with other.
6. FINE MIST – (8) 54kgs
We haven’t seen Bede Murray’s mare since she ran a gallant second at Scone in the Listed Denise’s Joy Stakes back in May. Had a wide gate (14) and 59kgs but was only out-bobbed on the line by In A Wink. No trials leading into this race and has picked a tough event to resume in.
7. MIHRI – T Berry (3) 54kgs
Drew barrier twelve when resuming from a spell a fortnight ago in a BM 80 (1100m) but had no luck in the run and was posted three deep, with no cover, midfield. Not surprisingly she struggled to improve her position in the run home and although finishing second to last, was only 2.9 lengths from winner Sultry Feeling. Ran third to Catkins in the G3 T’bred Breeder’s Classic back in February and although expecting a much improved effort here with a more comfortable run in transit, just can’t see her turning the tables on Catkins here.
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8. FIFTYSHADESOFGREY – J Collett (1) 54kgs
Back-maker who made her way home steadily along the fence from a midfield position last fortnight, to run fourth (1.8 lengths) behind Sultry Feeling. That effort continues her solid form this time in but needs to find a few extra lengths to be winning here and find it hard to see how she could give some qualities mares a start and then reel them in.
9. SUPARA – C Reith (9) 54kgs
She secured a nice run in transit when resuming in the BM 80 (1100m) last fortnight but turning for home, just couldn’t accelerate with the leading group under the 58.5kgs. She was winding up well however over the final 100m and ran out of room the last 50m so there was plenty to like about her ninth (2.6 lengths) placing behind Sultry Feeling from a future perspective. Gets right down in the weights compared to that run and earlier this year, recorded placings behind First Seal, Winx and ran fourth to Hi World. Not to be overlooked.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Echo Gal leads out and runs them along with Peeping handy and breathing down there necks will be Bounding and Catkins – the two standout mares in the race. Catkins’ stats for this race are amazing but just can’t ignore the way Bounding put them away first up and despite the hefty weight, will stick with here. With what should be a solid pace on up front, think Slightly Sweet is the best hopes of causing with Echo Gal back on top of the ground, sticking on well.
3. SLIGHTLY SWEET
4. ECHO GAL