Co-trainer Ben Hayes has a real soft spot for star filly Catchy and believes the three-year-old can continue an already successful spring carnival for the stable in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Catchy was third in the Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last start and claimed the Group Two Danehill Stakes over the straight 1200m Flemington course in September.
Catchy has been freshened to return to sprinting and has blinkers replacing winkers while Formality won the Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) impressively last start.
Tulip also stays at 1200m after finishing fifth in the $10 million Everest in Sydney, the world’s richest race on turf.
“They’ve all trained on and are all going really well,” Hayes said.
“It will actually be pretty interesting to see which one gets the better of them in that race.”
Catchy is at $7.50 in a capacity field of 20, while Tulip and Formality are at $14 and Hayes is leaning to Catchy.
“I’m a bit of a Catchy fan. I’ve always loved her,” he said.
“And she’s always been a little bit better than Formality and Tulip. I think that might stay the same.
“I’m not saying I don’t like the other ones.
“Catchy’s just such a big strong filly and she gets the weight off the boys and she looks like a colt.”
Hugh Bowman rides Catchy in a race for the first time and has had the chance to jump aboard the filly once in trackwork at David Hayes’ Euroa property.
Kerrin McEvoy chose to ride Formality over Tulip so UK-based Jamie Spencer rides Tulip.
Ben Hayes said Catchy was just peaking on her runs over 1400m and 1600m.
“We’ve kept her nice and fresh at home,” he said.
“We’ve had her out in the paddocks during the day and we’ve got our water walker and the pool. So we’ve got a lot of little tricks we can do at the farm to freshen them up.”
He said Tulip and Formality were also in great order.
“They all worked up the hill (at the Euroa property) on Monday and couldn’t fault any of their work,” he said.
“I think they’ll all run well.”