Catch The Thief has been ‘stealing the show’ wherever he goes!
And Briagolong trainer Matt Clark is now hoping his star speedster can ‘lift’ the Group 3 Warragul St Leger (460m) trophy on Saturday night.
Last week, Catch The Thief was the second-fastest qualifier (25.62sec) – just over one length slower than Zambora Smokey (25.54sec) who set the heats time standard.
Subsequently Zambora Smokey is $2.15F on tab.com.au for the $25,000-to-the-winner event, ahead of Catch The Thief ($2.40) on the second line of betting.
However, Clark doesn’t see the St Leger final as a race in two. He says Weblec Jet ($19.00), drawn in Box 8, is the “danger dog”.
“I really like the chances of the ‘pink’ (Weblec Jet)… It was a massive run behind us in the heat as he was stopped in his tracks at a vital stage.”
But Clark is happier with Catch The Thief (Box 2) being drawn on the inside of Zambora Smokey (Box 3).
“Zambora Smokey has a half-length on Catch The Thief early but has to cross him… Catch The Thief needs to jump to the front and if he does, he’s a really good chance. But I’m not confident at all.”
Clark added that Catch The Thief (May ’18 Aussie Infrared x Dundee Ally) has only had light paddock work in the lead-up to the final.
“My bloke is as fresh as a daisy, that’s the key to him… I’m keeping him with fresh legs for next week’s Cranbourne Puppy Classic series.” (Clark has also set Catch The Thief’s litter brother, Playlist, for that event.)
And Clark says Catch The Thief – affectionately known as ‘Ghosty’ – is a “better dog now than ever”.
“He’s really furnished into a nice race dog… He had a job to do last week and I could see he was really on song. He’s as fit as a Mallee bull; he’s cherry ripe!”
Catch The Thief has won 14 races from 24 starts – including eight of his past 11. He won the G2 WA Derby (520m) at Cannington in late May and finished fourth to Playlist in last month’s G1 Vic Peters Classic final (520m) at Wentworth Park.
The G3 Warragul St Leger is Race 8 at 7.27pm.
Pawnote: Catch The Thief shares the top line of betting, at $9.00, with Australia’s No. 1 sprinter Simon Told Helen on TAB’s pre-noms market for the G1 Melbourne Cup in November.