“Begin well, take up a “posi”, get your horse travelling comfortably, put yourself into clear running turning for home, balance up then release the brakes”. Apprentice jockey Quade Krough and his horse WATCH THE CAT got it “down pat” when they were victorious in race three at Orange on Friday 23rd November.
WATCH THE CAT was having only his second start in a race and the three-year-old gelding did a fine job considering his limited career. In his second barrier trial this preparation at Warwick Farm, he had shown considerable ability by running a very nice second by a small margin over 1200 metres on a rain affected track.
At his first start, the WATCH THE CAT raced very greenly in the early stages, continued to be a little wayward in the running and on rounding the home turn shifted out momentarily and bumped the favourite Cortessa resulting in both horses becoming unbalanced. In summary, the run was probably one to forget.
The weather for the day’s racing was Overcast, with a track rating of a Soft 5, and the rail in the true position. WATCH THE CAT’s race was the McSigns Maiden Handicap (1600m). With Quade Krogh riding, the pair had drawn barrier five in the field of twelve runners.
All was in readiness at the start, the gates opened, WATCH THE CAT was a bit tardy away but Quade was able to gather his mount, take up a position just forward of midfield and near the 1400 metres mark, settle into a nice rhythm behind the first five or six horses, one horse of the fence.
The runners kept their positions for the next 600 metres or so. The leader Adventure Queen was being closely guarded by Marmalade Express with Comzig to their outside. The favourite, The Seven Falls trained by Bjorn Baker and the locally trained Pujols had taken advantage of their inside barriers and were travelling close to the rail, with the latter pulling pretty hard, the rider up in the irons.
Approaching 600 metres from home, the pace quickened. Marmalade Express had had enough and began to drop back through the field. Greg Ryan on the favourite moved off the fence with the intention of “throwing down the gauntlet” to the leader and was handling the challenge strongly. The horses behind him were adopting similar tactics, just prior to the home bend there were three horses across the track vying for the lead with Comzig chiming in out wide. Quade and WATCH THE CAT were beginning to course wider to afford them clear running to the finish.
The early part of the home straight saw WATCH THE CAT, who taken a wide berth rounding the turn, six wide and maybe a length astern of the leaders. Once balanced up and 200 metres still to run, Quade was urging his horse along, the duo were taking ground off the leader, The Seven Falls.
At the 150 metres, the jockey gave WATCH THE CAT a couple of slaps of the whip on the rump and the horse responded with a nice turn of foot. By the time they’d gone 75 metres the pair were staring the favourite in the eye and charging to the finish line under hands and heels.
Pulling away close to the line, WATCH THE CAT ($8.50) went on to win by nigh on a length to The Seven Falls ($1.85F) and nearly two further back to Pujols.
An excellent training effort from Singleton Racing in getting a win on the board at only the horse’s second start especially in identifying the jump from 1300 metres to the mile was what was required. Well done to Quade for a competent ride and following instructions “to a tee”.
Sincere congratulations to the owner and breeder Dr. B J Hudson and fellow owners Ms. L S Amitrano-Hudson and Mr. and Mrs. Tudelhope, the turn of foot your horse showed was exciting to watch. Along with a little more experience we are sure it will hold him in good stead in his future racing career.