‘Show stealer’ Catch The Thief was at his elusive best in a heat of the Group 3 Cranbourne Classic (520m) this afternoon.
Trained at Briagolong by Matt Clark, Catch The Thief will now chase his third age-restricted group race final.
He won the Group 2 WA Derby (520m) at Cannington in late May and the Group 3 Warragul St Leger (460m) last week.
Engaged in Heat 1, Catch The Thief ($1.30F) jumped smartly from Box 6 and quickly turned the race into a procession leading all the way to defeat Fire Legend ($5.70) by three and a half lengths, with Mepunga Katie ($10.70) a further half-length away third in 29.87sec. Arizona Eyes ($30.40) also qualified for next week’s final by finishing fourth, just over seven and a half lengths from the winner.
Affectionately known as “Ghosty”, the ‘spirited’ speedster notched his 16th win from 26 starts. It was also his 10th win from his past 13 starts.
Catch The Thief (May ’18 Aussie Infrared x Dundee Ally) showed just why he’s a $9.00 equal pre-noms favourite, along with Australia’s No. 1 sprinter Simon Told Helen, for the G1 Melbourne Cup in November.
Meanwhile, in Heat 2, the Mario Briganti-trained Manila Knight proved too strong for his rivals.
Exiting from Box 8, Manila Knight ($12.70) was last to leave the traps but amazingly had positioned second rounding the first turn. He then took over proceedings rounding the circle before crossing the line nearly three lengths ahead of Warragul St Leger runner-up Weblec Jet ($2.60F), with Taken ($3.60) a further length and a quarter away third in 29.89sec. Run Like Jess ($3.20) also qualified for the final by finishing fourth, almost nine lengths from the winner.
A powerhouse sprinter, Manila Knight (May ’18 Barcia Bale x Angie Rocks) registered his 10th win from 25 starts. It was also his fifth win in six starts from the ‘pink’ alley.
The model of consistency is now into his first group race final.
WATCH: Catch The Thief (6) scores an effortless 3.5L win over Fire Legend (2) in Heat 1 of the G3 Cranbourne Classic.
WATCH: Powerhouse sprinter Manila Knight (8) reigns supreme with a near 3L win over Weblec Jet (2) in Heat 2 of the G3 Cranbourne Classic. .