The absence of Catkins from the Angst Stakes is a boost to the chances of New Zealand mare Neena Rock who is in Australia on a black-type mission.
Even though the Chris Waller-trained Catkins was beaten by Arabian Gold in the Golden Pendant, Neena Rock’s trainer John Sargent was pleased to see her name missing from the entries for Saturday’s Group Three Angst (1600m) at Randwick.
Neena Rock finished third behind Catkins in the Sheraco Stakes at her first Sydney start and fourth in the Golden Pendant.
Catkins will have her next start in the Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday week in preparation for the Myer Classic in which she was edged out by former stablemate Red Tracer last year.
“I’m glad Catkins isn’t there,” Sargent said.
“She would get in well at the weights and this makes it easier.
“Neena Rock has a Group Three win in New Zealand and the owners have sent her over here to get Australian black type.
“An Australian stakes win just adds so much more to her future value as a broodmare.
“I’m pretty pleased with what she has shown me so far over here.”
Punters are also impressed with Neena Rock the TAB’s early favourite for the Angst ahead of Gypsy Diamond who has been racing in much tougher company.
Trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, Gypsy Diamond finished out of the money in the Group Two Tramway Stakes won by subsequent Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina and Group One George Main (1600m) taken out by dual Doncaster winner Sacred Falls.
Against her own sex in the Angst, Gypsy Diamond is at $3.80 with Neena Roc at $2.80 with the TAB.
Under former trainer John O’Shea, Gypsy Diamond ran a close second to Diamond Drille in the Group One Coolmore Classic in the autumn.
While expecting big things from Neena Roc, Sargent is also aiming high with Kirramosa in Saturday’s Group One Caulfield Stakes.
After her early preparation was interrupted by wet tracks in Sydney, Kirramosa got her campaign back on track, pleasing Sargent with her fifth behind Rock Sturdy in the Shannon Stakes on September 27.
“She runs in the Caulfield Stakes and should have no problem backing up a week later into the Caulfield Cup,” Sargent said.
“It also gives her a look at the track ahead of the cup.”