Last chance to make Epsom
THE Shannon Stakes and Colin Stephen Quality could be renamed the “Last Chance Stakes” at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
That’s because it will be the final opportunity for fringe contenders for the $1 million Epsom Handicap and $750,000 The Metropolitan to secure starts in the big Group 1 races at Royal Randwick on October 3.
The winner of the Group 2 $175,000 Shannon Stakes (1500m) is guaranteed a start in next week’s Epsom.
Similarly, the winner of the Group 3 $125,000 Colin Stephen Quality automatically qualifies for The Metropolitan.
Although the Shannon is a crucial Epsom lead-up, remarkably no horse has completed the double since Dalmacia in 1982.
CATKINS ON TARGET CATKINS, Sydney’s most popular race mare, is aiming for her 17th career win in the Group 2 $400,000 Golden Pendant (1400m) at the Rosehill meeting.
The grey mare resumed racing with a brilliant win in the Sheraco Stakes, sweeping past Echo Gal and Bounding to win easily, taking her career earnings over the $2 million barrier.
Catkins is now a six-yearold but retains her zest for racing and is an overwhelming crowd favourite to win the Golden Pendant.
The Golden Pendant, the feature fillies and mares race of the Sydney spring carnival, is deserving of Group 1 status and surely the Australian Pattern Committee must look favourably at any case to elevate the race’s ranking.
WATCH FOR WALLER MY TIP for this weekend is to follow trainer Chris Waller. Sydney’s premier trainer has had a sensational start to the new season and his horses invariably race well on their home track of Rosehill Gardens.