Lightly raced filly Loch Katrine lived up to her breeding when she scampered through the heavy conditions at Pukekohe to break her maiden status in the Lised Staphanos at Novara Park Champagne Stakes (1600m).
Having been placed at her first two starts the Daniel Miller-trained daughter of Ardrossan went into the race as one of the well fancied candidates and when the rain came overnight, which saw a resulting Heavy10 surface for the day, the deeds of her well-performed dam Cong’er helped sway punters in her direction.
The winner of the 2012 Listed Karaka Classic (1600m) at the venue, Cong’er revelled in the deep winter tracks on which she posted all five of her career victories.
Her daughter appeared to have inherited those traits as she travelled sweetly throughout Saturday’s contest in the hands of leading rider Michael McNab, before launching her challenge wider out in the home straight.
Hotly challenged by race favourite To Catch A Thief for most of the final 400m, Loch Katrine found plenty in the closing stages to deny the late charge of The Matador and a weakening To Catch A Thief.
Miller had been encouraged by the first two runs from the filly and admitted he had some confidence before the race.
“Very very gutsy effort.” Miller said.
“I was quite happy coming into today, although it is always a bit of a question mark when they first cop these tracks, but she had trialled well in the wet.
“I thought up to the mile, on a nice roomy surface, that she should get every chance.”
Miller was also delighted for owners Paul Sullivan, Annie Phillips, Dave Paterson and Bruce Browne, after Sullivan had purchased Loch Katrine off the gavelhouse.com website for just $1,300.
“I got approached by some owners to seek out a horse for them and I told them to buy her off gavelhouse,” he said.
“I said to them today that if we could get some black type with her, then she is looking pretty good.
“It is all still ahead of her, as she is lightly raced and to get her maiden win in Listed company is just a bonus.
“After today you would think she will get a mile as a three-year-old and probably even further.
“She is blessed with a cool, calm attitude and that is only going to help if we end up taking her to other places.”
McNab was also taken by the grit shown by the filly.
“She got through the ground ok, but she’s not very big and is pretty good on a better track, so I made a point of trying to keep her in fresh ground,” he said.
“I kept her rolling and she was just so tough the last bit.
“I let To Catch A Thief scoot up on my inside at the half mile as that wasn’t a spot I wanted and he took me into the race at the right time.
“She definitely deserved that, so well done to the team.”
Bred by Colette Hosking, Loch Katrine becomes the second individual stakes winner from the first crop of Waikato Stud resident stallion Ardrossan, who was retired to stand at Waikato Stud in 2019 after a racetrack career that saw him win four of his nine starts including twice at stakes level while also finishing third in the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa. – NZ Racing Desk