Despite being drawn alongside a particularly talented field of fillies and mares, co-trainer Shannon Hope is confident four-year-old Madam Gangster is capable of success in Saturday’s Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Posting five wins and a further two minor place finishes over her 16 start career so far, Madam Gangster returned to racing following a brief freshen-up in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) on March 7th; displayed a keen turn of foot to hit the line close to two lengths in the clear of closest rival Girl Guide.
Thrilled with the form and class displayed by the Al Maher mare since taking up her training in late spring, Hope identified Catkins as the horse to beat in the 2015 Emancipation Stakes but is confident his runner is more than a chance of success.
“The form around her is really strong, if you go through Profit Share,” Hope said.
“And it shouldn’t have beaten her first-up at Seymour either. She should be six from six since we got her.
“The 1500 is the least of out worries and she seems to be handling the Sydney way of going.
“She’s drawn a nice alley, which gives her a chance to get a bit of room and take a position.
“We’ve got to keep raising the bar. We raised her to a Group 3 race and she did it, now the next step is a Group 2.
“Have a look at her (Catkins) form and what she’s done – shes’s outstanding.”
Beginning her racing career under the guidance of Robert Kingston before transferring to the care of Lee and Shannon Hope following a luckless autumn and spring, Madam Gangster was unlucky to finish second in a Seymour race over 1209m first-up on November 10th before responded well in taking out her next three starts.
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