From Last to First - Catalyst Simply Brilliant!
Media Release - Saturday January 25

Boom three-year-old Catalyst overcame a scare to brilliantly win Saturday’s Group III Henley Park Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie, extending his winning sequence to six.

Catalyst in full flight - image Trish DunnellThe sprint feature for three-year-olds was the Darci Brahma gelding’s first start since his dominant victory in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November. Despite a testing impost of 60.5kg, he started as the red-hot $1.10 favourite and was expected to outclass his opposition again.

That confidence took an immediate hit as Catalyst made a slow start, dropping out to a clear last in the first few strides of the race. He still sat at the tail of the field approaching the home turn.

But then Troy Harris asked for the acceleration that carried Catalyst to four brilliant stakes wins through the spring, and the star three-year-old answered the call.

Catalyst bounded past his opposition and shot clear, winning by two and a half lengths in a slick 1:08.89 for the 1200m journey.

Relieved trainer Clayton Chipperfield confirmed that all systems are go for Catalyst’s Melbourne campaign, which is likely to start in the Gr.3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15.

“That was heart-stopping,” Chipperfield said. “I thought we were in a heap of trouble, but what a turn of foot he’s got. The amount of ground he was able to make up in a short space of time, it’s just unbelievable.

“He’ll take plenty of improvement out of this as we head towards Australia. But we’ll be putting the hood back on – he can’t afford to fall out of the gates like that over there.”

Harris said the slow beginning was likely the result of a horse playing up in a neighbouring gate.

“But I was never worried, I always knew he was going to pick them up,” he said. “It’s unreal riding a horse like him – he’s a machine.

“He had a good blow after the race, so he’s going to take a lot of improvement from this. He’s a horse who’s getting better and better all the time.

“The more he races, the better he is.”

Run To Perfection, who was fourth behind Catalyst in the 2000 Guineas, chased him home again on Saturday to finish second.

Classy filly Bavella finished third, adding to a strong start to the big twilight meeting for Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay, who won the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m) opening event with Dance Card. NZ Racing Desk

Henley Park Mr Tiz Trophy Gr3 1200m
Ellerslie Track: Dead(4) Time: 1:08.89
T: C M Chipperfield J: T N Harris 60.5
3g Darci Brahma (NZ) x Evana (NZ) (Entrepreneur (GB))
Run To Perfection
T: S B Marsh J: J L Waddell 58.5
3c Sepoy (AUS) x El Shahar (AUS) (Encosta De Lago (AUS))
NZB Ready To Run Sale of 2YOs $55,000
V:Wellfield Lodge
B: Mr XM Wang
Inglis Classic Yearling Sale $80,000
V:Jazcom Thoroughbreds, The Oaks
B: O G Farm
Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale $35,000
V:Blue Gum Farm, Euroa
B: Hazelwood Place Pty Ltd
T: L R Noble J: L G Innes 56.5
3f Snitzel (AUS) x Zonza (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))
Madam Hass
T: R James & R Wellwood J: V A Colgan 56.5
3f Per Incanto (USA) x Elusive Red (NZ) (Elusive City (USA))
NZB Karaka - Book 2 $70,000
V:Ardsley Stud Ltd
B: The Robt Dawe Agency
T: Ms J Surgenor J: A J Calder 56.5
3f Showcasing (GB) x Rodrigo Rose (NZ) (Rodrigo De Triano (USA))
My World
T: Jared Prangley J: S C Spratt 57.5
3g Jimmy Choux (NZ) x Sacsayhuaman (AUS) (Encosta De Lago (AUS))
T: S B Marsh J: D S Johnson 55.5
3f Makfi (GB) x Rosa's Spur (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS))
NZB Karaka - Book 1 $200,000
V:Windsor Park Stud
B: Bruce Perry Bloodstock
Woodcote Lass
T: S R Autridge J: C J Grylls 57.5
3f Showcasing (GB) x Lady Woodcote (GB) (Pivotal (GB))
T: Ms D Guy J: M T Coleman 56.5
3f Ocean Park (NZ) x Showing Off (NZ) (Savabeel (AUS))