Doubtfilly’s first progeny has no pressure to emulate her Golden Slipper exploits when he steps out in a lead-up to the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.
Trainer Edward O’Rourke could not resist running Catanzaro in Saturday’s Group 2 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill but expects the colt to prove more competitive over longer distances during autumn.
Doubtfilly was a creditable fourth in the 2012 edition of the Slipper but O’Rourke is placing more significance on Catanzaro’s sire when he considers his future.
“Being by So You Think, you’d think he’d get out to 1400 or a mile,” O’Rourke said.
“I’d say we’ll see the best of him when he step him out of a bit further.”
The shortest distance So You Think, a multiple Group 1 winner in both hemispheres, won over was 1400m.
But Randwick-based O’Rourke would not pass up a crack at the $3.5 million Golden Slipper on March 24 should Catanzaro qualify.
The Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in April are on O’Rourke’s wish list.
“We won’t campaign him too heavily before then. If he doesn’t qualify for the Slipper we won’t worry too much about it,” O’Rouke said.
Catanzaro last raced in November and his third start follows a trial at Rosehill on January 22 when he finished 1-1/4 lengths fifth behind $1.60 Canonbury Stakes favourite and leading Golden Slipper contender Performer.
“He travelled up very easy. Jason (Collett) was very complimentary,” O’Rourke said.
An in-form Brenton Avdulla takes over the reins with instructions to bide his time on Catanzaro.
“We’re riding for a bit of luck and riding for black-type,” O’Rourke said.
“I think we’ll see him better later in the year but you have to have a crack when you have them fit and ready to run.
“I just thought with five runners it would be hard to pass up,” he said.
“You’ve got two first starters (Exceltic and Stratosphere). You can’t beat race experience.”