Catchy aims to emulate Surround in Caulfield Guineas

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October 12th, 2017

Australian racing arguably has two major stallion-making races on its racing calendar: the six-furlong Golden Slipper (G1) for 2-year-olds in March, and the one-mile Caulfield Guineas (G1) for spring 3-year-olds, which is staged Oct. 14.

However, there’s a chance the stallion prospects could find themselves outrun by a filly.

Instead of running in the 1,000 Guineas (G1) on the same card, Catchy (Fastnet Rock) is taking on the colts and geldings, and last season’s Blue Diamond (G1) winner is the second favorite.

Catchy has raced three times this spring. She opened her campaign with a second-place finish to Crown Witness in the Quezette Stakes (G3), won the six-furlong Danehill Stakes (G2) against the males, before finishing third in the Tranquil Star Stakes (G2) back against the fillies.

A victory will make her the first filly to win the race since Surround in 1976. Surround two weeks later became the only 3-year-old filly to win Australia’s weight-for-age championship, the Cox Plate.

The favorite is Royal Symphony (Domesday), who’s been something of a boom horse since winning his debut in May. He won his first four starts well, but he was relegated to fourth in the Guineas Prelude (G3) behind Perast (Snitzel) after being disadvantaged by a slow pace.

Godolphin’s Kementari (Lohnro) looks to be a good chance after finishing third in the Guineas Prelude, while Bill Stutt Stakes winner Showtime (Snitzel) should also be respected.

It’s an open field, with none of the colts establishing supremacy as yet, so there could be some good value if you can pick the winner.

In Catchy’s absence, Sydney filly Alizee (Sepoy) is a short-priced favorite for the 1,000 Guineas, also run at one mile. Godolphin’s filly impressed when winning the Tea Rose Stakes (G2) and Flight Stakes (G1), and should prove hard to topple again provided she handles the change to anticlockwise racing in Melbourne.

Booker (Written Tycoon) and Shoals (Fastnet Rock) – first and second, respectively, in the Tranquil Star Stakes, ahead of Catchy – look the best of the Melbourne fillies set to take Alizee on.

These three look the best chances, but for multiples it’s worth considering Mintha (Redoute’s Choice), second to The Everest candidate Houtzen at her previous start, and Leather’n’lace (Street Cry), third in the Edward Manifold Stakes (G2) a week ago.