David Hayes has claimed a sixth Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield with brilliant filly Catchy, but says winning it with his family makes the victory even sweeter.
Hayes trained five winners of Melbourne’s premier two-year-old race under his own name, but Saturday’s win was his first in partnership with son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig.
Dabernig joined Hayes in an official training capacity in 2014, with Ben joining the team in 2016.
“Winning it on your own is terrific but it’s still a team effort,” Hayes said.
“This one is an acknowledged team effort.”
Ridden by Craig Williams, Catchy ($4.80) charged home to overhaul $4 Ladbrokes Australia favourite Pariah to win by a long neck, with Formality ($9) 1-3/4 lengths away in third.
The Lindsay Park stable saddled six juveniles in Saturday’s race, with Catchy leading home the team ahead of Formality, Tulip (fourth), Muraahib (sixth), Wait For No One (seventh) and Will’s Bid (13th).
“It’s quite a relief,” Hayes said.
“I thought I was going to run second, third and fourth at one stage but she was sensational in the last 100 metres.
“On the turn I thought Formality would be in the finish but I was thinking Pariah had us covered.
“It took an exceptional performance from Catchy to pick up.”
After an agonising choice of which two-year-old to ride, Williams was vindicated in picking Catchy, which has provided him with his first Blue Diamond success.
Apart from Catchy, Williams also had the choice of Property, which finished fifth, and Property who was a race-eve scratching.
He said the filly reminded him of Miss Finland, the Golden Slipper winner of 2006 and who had run second in the Blue Diamond behind Nadeem in the lead-up.
Williams said he had placed a lot of pressure on Catchy but also had the confidence in the filly.
He now hopes she can emulate Miss Finland by taking out the Golden Slipper, for which she is the $11 equal third favourite with Crown Bet.
“Miss Finland didn’t win this but she won the Slipper,” Williams said.
“I’ve only got one Slipper in the cabinet. I want to have two.
“I’ve got one for the right. Now I want one for the left.
“She can do most things. She’s a pleasure.”
Blake Shinn said the favourite Pariah had run a great race.
“We were narrowly beaten but I think we were beaten by an exceptional filly,” Shinn said.
“Take nothing away from my horse – it was a brave run.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au