Unbeaten filly Catchy (2f Fastnet Rock x Cats Whisker, by Fusaichi Pegasus) produced a sparkling turn of foot at Caulfield on Saturday to overhaul star Sydney colt Pariah to win the Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes.
Prepared by the Hayes / Dabernig training partnership, Catchy was partnered by Craig Williams, who had ridden the filly in all three previous wins.
He has always compared her to his former favourite filly Miss Finland and that lofty opinion has now proven justified.
Ridden quietly from a wide gate, Catchy zoomed home out wide to win the 1200 metre sprint by a long neck over Pariah with a length and three-quarters back to another Fastnet Rock filly in Formality, with all three place-getters having been purchased from the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Williams said a decision to switch Catchy to the outside when entering the straight proved a winning move.
“Once I got to the turn, I could have cut back in and followed Ollie (Damien Oliver) on Tulip but I just thought, if I get her to the outside and I’d done no work early,” Williams said.
“I was always mindful of keeping the momentum going.
“She just gave me that feeling that yep, we’re going to get there and it really felt great.
“She’s a really, really good horse.”
While it was a first Blue Diamond win for Williams, Catchy gave co-trainer David Hayes his sixth win in Victoria’s two-year-old showpiece but his first in partnership with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig.
“I’ve been lucky enough to win a lot of big races but to do it with a young team behind me, it’s a team effort and it’s great to have that acknowledged,” Hayes senior said.
A $220,000 Inglis Australian Easter purchase from the Coolmore draft for Robert Crabtree’s Dorrington Farm, Catchy has now won all four starts to date earning $1.1 million in prizemoney.
Foaled and raised at Coolmore for her breeder Joy Jenkins, Catchy is the 27th Group I winner for Fastnet Rock and is the fourth winner from four foals to race from Group II winner Cats Whisker, a daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus.
Coolmore sold the full sister to Catchy at Magic Millions last month for $700,000 to Alan Bell Racing and Cats Whisker produced another colt by Fastnet Rock in 2016.
She was covered last year for the first time by a stallion other than Fastnet Rock visiting Golden Slipper winner Pierro, who sired the fourth place-getter in the Blue Diamond in Tulip.