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Melbourne Campaign Looms for Excitement Machine
Meanwhile, relieved trainer Clayton Chipperfield confirmed that all systems are go for Catalyst’s Melbourne campaign, which is likely to start in the Gr3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15. “That was heart-stopping,” Chipperfield said after Catalyst had to overcome a poor start and navigate his way to victory in the Gr3 Mr Tiz Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie. “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.” Jockey Troy 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.” And that’s a scary prospect for his Australian opposition who lie in wait.