Top New Zealander Catalyst is being readied for a Sydney spring campaign which could encompass starts in two of the carnival’s richest races.
Trainer Clayton Chipperfield will target Catalyst at the $7.5 million Golden Eagle and says The Everest is also on the table if Catalyst’s early season form catches the attention of race slot holders.
A Group One winner in New Zealand, Catalyst was narrowly denied by Alligator Blood at his Australian debut in the C S Hayes Stakes in Melbourne in February.
He was unable to replicate that effort when unplaced in the Australian Guineas but was later found to have an issue that cut short his autumn preparation.
Chipperfield said the colt felt stronger this time around and appeared to have switched on mentally.
He is set to step out in a New Zealand barrier trial on August 12 and has been pencilled in to resume in The Shorts at Randwick in September.
Catalyst’s wins have been over journeys up to 1600m but Chipperfield expects a sprint trip to pose no issues if an Everest start becomes a serious option.
“The way he won his 1200 metre and 1400 metre races here, I don’t think the 1200 metres of The Everest, relatively early on in his prep, would be too much of an issue.”
The $15 million The Everest (1200m) is at Randwick on October 17.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au