Catchy and Moreira back in form in Arrowfield Stakes

The Hayes and Dabernig trained Catchy has won just twice since her Group 1 victory in the 2017 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caufield, but they have been wins of the highest order, first in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington in September and secondly in the $600,000, Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.

The immensely valuable Fastnet Rock filly under Joao Moreira was too good for the strong field in the Arrowfield Stakes with Moreira giving her clear air from the top of the straight and she was more than capable of doing the rest.

The crucial point of the race was at the 600m when Moreira eased Catchy forward to sit outside Viridine and Hugh Bowman as they raced at the back on the field. Bowman was pocketed by the manoeuvrer and when Moreira slid Catchy to the outside of the field off the turn he tried for a mid-field passage on Viridine.

Except there was no passage. The wall on front of Viridine did not move with the evenly spread field and while Bowman’s colt was ready to go, the stop light was on display for the rest of the trip.

Out wide Moreira and Catchy were on green for the entire straight with the result a comprehensive 1 1/2L win to add to the record of the Dorrington Farm’s filly.

Showtime (Snitzel) and Corey Brown were second and I Am Excited (Snitzel) and Kerrin McEvoy third, the margin a neck. Booker was fourth and Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign fifth.

The time was 1.10.22 on the Good 4 track in a new race record with the final 600m in 34.17. Catchy paid $9.00 on fixed odds and the tote. The $4.10 favourite Viridine was eighth after not been tried over the final metres.

Catchy and Joao Moreira, picture

For Moreira it was his first Group win in Sydney since 2014 and for Catchy a turn-around of sorts after a third in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes over 1200m at The Valley on March 23rd and seventh in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes over 1200m at Randwick last week.

“She went to open class. I think in the three-year-old year most of them have struggled when they got to open class. She ran third in a Group 1 and ran third in a Guineas and won the Danehill as a three-year-old, not many can do that. She’s not quite as good as when she was at two but ridden that way was really classy today to come from last,” said co-trainer David Hayes.

“We’ll head her off to the Robert Sangster in three weeks in Adelaide,” he added.

“She settled nicely, where she likes to be in the race and she finished off the race with all the power that’s she got,” said Moreira.

“She had everything in her favour today, she got a beautiful run down the outside and once she did, she just dashed home.

“Lovely to be riding another winner for David. It is such a great feeling to be riding another Group winner in Australia,” he said.

Catchy is out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Cats Whisker and this was her sixth win from 15 starts. With four placings she has earned stakes of $1.8m.

Arrowfield Sprint, photo finish picture ATC

What the beaten jockeys said:

Hugh Bowman (Viridine): “We didn’t get a lot of room but the reason for that is I couldn’t relax him to get him in a rhythm. I had to pick runs which didn’t come.”

Corey Brown (Showtime): “He ran really, really good. He got a little bit revved up with the wind out there. He settled in behind Houtzen and got a bit fierce but still ran really well.”

Mark Zahra (Pariah): “It was a fair effort.”

Damian Lane (Perast): “He got stuck working into the breeze and it told on his finish late.”

Ben Melham (She Will Reign): “She was disappointing.”

Dwayne Dunn (Booker): “She ran extremely well. That wind is rather strong punching into it. It took its toll on the leader and myself late in the race.”

Glyn Schofield (Houtzen): “She jumped and led with no real pressure. The pattern of the day was against her.”

Kerrin McEvoy (I Am Excited): “There wasn’t much tempo in the race. I was there on the corner but we got outgassed the last bit. She’s taken on all before her this prep and there is more in store for her next prep.”