Tony Pike is looking forward to spring racing with his new acquisition Catalyst.
The rising five-year-old son of Darci Brahma won six of his 10 races for former trainer Clayton Chipperfield, five of which were at stakes level, including the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).
He hasn’t raced since pulling up lame in the Gr.2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick in September, with owner Dick Karreman and his racing manager Rick Williams electing to take a cautious approach with his return.
Catalyst joined Pike’s barn a couple of months ago and the Cambridge trainer has been pleased with what he has seen from the gelding so far.
“He has had a little break since he had an issue at the tail end of his last preparation, but he seems to be back to his best and hopefully he holds together for us heading into the spring,” Pike told Racing HQ.
“We have only had him for a couple of months now, but going through his form, 1400m up to a mile is going to be ideal for him.
“He is quite a brilliant horse with a lovely action and he settles pretty well in his races.”
Catalyst’s initial spring targets will lie in his homeland, with Pike eyeing some Australian assignments if he comes up well enough.
“He is going to have a barrier trial here on August 3,” Pike said. “He will trial again on the 17th of August. He will likely have two runs here in New Zealand in the Foxbridge Plate (Gr.2, 1200m) and the Tarzino Trophy, the 1400m Group One at Hawke’s Bay.
“If we think we have got him back to his best there are two options for him, one is Sydney or else there are a couple of nice races in Melbourne, like the Toorak (Gr.1, 1600m).”
-NZ Racing Desk