Catch A Fire showed off some swooping prowess to claim the Dr Sheahan Plate (1200m), overcoming barrier nine of 10 to return for her spring campaign in fine style.
The Lindsay Park-trained mare went back from the gate and looped the field with consummate ease under the hold of Damian Lane, while others in the market French Emotion and Rockolicious were inconvenienced in the crucial stages.
While her first wins in the autumn came when she was on speed, Catch A Fire’s versatility was on display on Saturday as she sat second-last in running and won by half-a-length from the Henry Dwyer-trained Foreign Affair.
Trainer David Hayes said he was impressed how she worked into the race on turning, and has picked out the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 10.
‘I think on the strength of that, she showed real class between the 600m and the 400m to get into the race,’ Hayes said post-race.
‘She’ll be set for the Let’s Elope at Flemington on the 10th.
‘And I’d think the 1400m is better for her than the 1200m.
‘Eventually, if she’s winning [we’ll look at a mile], that might put another string to her bow, but there’s plenty of races at 1400m.’
Lane said the best was yet to come with the daughter of Sebring.
‘She probably has got a bit of improvement to come too,’ he said.
‘She jumped well, but there was a fair bit of early speed and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to find a position up forward.
‘So I let her find her feet.
‘When the time was right, she just towed me into the race.
‘They’re (Lindsay Park) going so well, they do a terrific job at Euroa and Flemington. It’s a privilege to be part of a successful operation, and hopefully the opportunities keep coming.’