Catkins has taken another step out of the shadow of her stablemate Red Tracer with her third Group win from four starts this campaign in the Emancipation Stakes at Rosehill.
She has now joined her Chris Waller-trained stablemate as the equal favourite for the Group One Queen Of The Turf Stakes in two weeks.
Runner-up to Red Tracer in the Group One Myer Classic in the spring, Catkins was the well-supported $1.45 favourite for Saturday’s Group Two Emancipation (1500m).
She travelled sweetly for Hugh Bowman and comfortably held off the challenge from Sharnee Rose ($11) by 1-1/2 lengths.
The four-year-old has a special place in Waller’s heart as she is owned by the Ingham family.
In 2008, patriarch Bob Ingham gave Waller’s career a boost when he anointed him his trainer and spent millions on yearlings at the Easter sale to help stock what is now Sydney’s leading stable.
“She does us proud all the time,” Waller said.
“Today was her 11th win from 21 starts and if she’s not winning she’s right there running seconds and thirds and in all track conditions.
“She had to do the work up the front and was too strong late. It’s a pretty proud moment.”
Waller said a quick back-up into next week’s Doncaster Mile was unlikely and the mare would go to the Queen Of The Turf seven days later.
“I want to win a Group One with her. I think trying to win one of the hardest Group One races in the country would be tough considering there’s a beautiful race the following week, the Queen Of The Turf.
“It’s $1 million mares race at weight-for-age.
“Realistically, that’s the right race.”
Bowman said the mare handled the conditions easily under top weight of 56kg.
“It was painless,” he said.
“I think she is more comfortable on top of the ground, but she was beautifully placed here.”
The Emancipation Stakes is named after another striking grey mare, Emancipation, winner of the 1983 Doncaster.
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