Catalyst all class at Hastings

Catalyst is well clear as he hit the line at Hastings - Trish Dunell
Catalyst is well clear as he hit the line at Hastings

Trish Dunell

Flashy three-year-old Catalyst contributed to a huge day for The Oaks Stud owner Dick Karreman and his resident sire Darci Brahma, when he captured the Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m) at Hastings in emphatic fashion.

The Oaks Stud bred and raced three-year-old gelding Double Impact had opened his account in style with a dashing debut performance to win over 1000m at Ruakaka less than thirty minutes before Catalyst destroyed his three-year-old opposition at his first attempt at stakes company.

Exciting three-year-old filly Kali, who is part-owned by Karreman, had kicked things off for the Oaks Stud supremo when winning the second race at Hastings, albeit in the inquiry room, after being second past the post following a rocky run in the home straight.

All three horses look certain to feature in the upcoming three-year-old spring features with Catalyst advancing his claim to start favourite in the Gr.2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) on the last day of the Hastings carnival on October 5.

A lightning beginning from an outside gate saw rider Troy Harris settle Catalyst in behind pacemaker The Fugitive within 100m of the start, where he travelled easily to the home turn. Harris sent his mount to the front at the top of the straight and he easily put three lengths on his rivals, a margin he maintained to the winning post, winning with a fair bit in hand from Equinox and the late-closing Loire.

Trainer Clayton Chipperfield admitted he had been confident of a winning run until he saw the barrier draw on Wednesday.

“Up until the barrier came out, I was very confident,” Chipperfield said.

“Once we got that draw, I thought typical as the last eight runners of ours have drawn outside.

“He’s a class horse though and he (Harris) bounced him out and had him handy which was perfect.”

The winner of two races from three attempts, Catalyst finished a well-beaten seventh on debut at Te Rapa, a run that Chipperfield was prepared to forgive after he turned that form around with a five-length victory at New Plymouth at his next start.

“I don’t think he liked the kickback at Te Rapa, as he was slow out, copped it in the face and just gave up,” he said.

“We knew he had a lot of ability, even though he flopped at Te Rapa, but when he won at New Plymouth, we knew we had something special then.

“We will come back here for the (Hawke’s Bay) Guineas and then we’ll throw a nomination in for the 2000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) at Riccarton as well.”

Rider Troy Harris, who had won the previous race on impressive Matamata visitor Germanicus, was thrilled with the performance by Catalyst who did everything asked of him during the race.

“He just has a lot of untapped ability,” he said.

“I drew wide and was positive on him. He got there (the trail) and put himself to sleep and as soon as I asked him for a turn of foot, he gave it to me.

“I rode him early on in his two trials and I’ve always rated him. It’s a pleasure to get back on at the races.

“He reminds me of his old man, Darci Brahma, who I rode at the track and he is the spitting image.

“It’s scary to think how good he could be.”

The Oaks Stud and Darci Brahma continued their winning run just one race later when lightly raced mare Spring Bouquet was successful over 1400m to register her second career victory. – NZ Racing Desk


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