Catkins Highlights 2014 Emancipation Stakes Nominations

March 31st, 2014

A talented field of 13 three-year-old plus fillies and mares has been nominated for this weekend’s 2014 Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens, highlighted by several proven performers of the 2014 autumn season.

Catkins has been nominated for the 2014 Emancipation Stakes

Catkins has been nominated for the 2014 Emancipation Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

Amassing 10 wins and seven places from only twenty competitive race starts to date, trainer Chris Waller has included classy mare Catkins in nominations for the 2014 Emancipation Stakes.

Catkins was without doubt one of the most consistent performers of the 2013 spring racing carnival, scoring two wins, three seconds and one third from her six race starts, including victories in the Group 3 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) and an unlucky second to stable mate Red Tracer in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).

Returning to the track in near-career best form this season, the talented daughter of Dubawi produced an impressive turn of foot to hunt down and beat Steps In Time to the line in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) first-up, before strolling home to win the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) by nearly two lengths ahead of fellow Emancipation Stakes nominee Sharnee Rose.

While unable to justify favouritism in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) when third behind Steps In Time and Sweet Idea, Waller is confident his star will have no issue returning to the winner’s circle this weekend.

Securing four wins and 11 places from 28 race starts so far, Sharnee Rose has opened her 2014 account in competitive form, finishing fourth in the Breeders Classic first-up before sprinting well to finish second to Catkins in the Wiggle Stakes, and slightly disappointing when 7th (of 16) in the Coolmore Classic last time out.

Having also been included in nominations for the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, trainer Kris Lees will let Wednesday’s final fields and barrier draws dictate which avenue the classy Nadeem mare will take.

Talented New Zealand import Floria is poised to accept a position in the final field for the 2014 Emancipation Stakes, and will be aiming to overturn a blocked run for 8th in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) on March 21st.

Securing four wins and eleven places from 32 starts, Floria has produced a largely consistent Australian career since arriving in the care of trainer Peter Moody in early February last year; finishing third in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) and winning the Group 3 Summond Stakes (1600m) most notably.

Finishing second in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) first-up on March 1st, the Savabeel mare appeared to be in prime position rounding the final bend of the Sunline Stakes but was caught three-back on the rails behind a fading leader.

Moody has a high opinion of Floria, and is confident of a cleaner run in the Emancipation Stakes ahead of a hopeful tilt at the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 19th.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse is offered two good chances in this weekend’s Emancipation Stakes, having nominated stable mates Diamond Drille and Vaquera.

Claiming four wins and one place from only eight competitive starts, Diamond Drille enters the 2014 Emancipation Stakes in peak condition, having claiming the Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) ahead of a talented field on March 15th.

Building towards an appearance in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m), Vaquera is yet to find top gear in 2014, however Waterhouse is confident of a steep turn in form this weekend, revealing the High Chaparral mare has taken to work well over the past two weeks.

A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Emancipation Stakes is due for release on Wednesday morning.

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2014 Emancipation Stakes Nominations

# Horse Trainer Hcp Rating
1 ALZORA Anthony Cummings 82
2 ANGEL OF MERCY Gerald Ryan 89
3 CAMEO Peter Snowden 90
4 CATKINS Chris Waller 110
5 DIAMOND DRILLE Gai Waterhouse 84
6 FLORIA (NZ) Peter G Moody 100
7 LADY ECHELON Natalie Mccall 86
8 LORNA MAY Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 75
9 SHARNEE ROSE Kris Lees 104
10 SPIRIT SONG Matt Laurie 105
11 VAQUERA (NZ) Gai Waterhouse 89
12 WISTFUL Peter Snowden 89
13 YOU’RE SO GOOD (NZ) Nigel Blackiston 91