Catalyst proves his capabilities

Star 3yr-old Catalyst wins the group 1 Two Thousand Guineas at Riccarton on Saturday for rider...
Star 3yr-old Catalyst wins the group 1 Two Thousand Guineas at Riccarton on Saturday for rider Troy Harris. PHOTO: RACE IMAGES.
A scintillating burst of speed helped exciting galloper Catalyst confirm his star status by winning the Two Thousand Guineas at Riccarton on Saturday.

When rider Troy Harris asked the 3yr-old for an effort in the straight, he bounded away from his rivals to win the 1600m group 1 feature impressively, by more than two lengths.

When Catalyst crossed the line he not only brought trainer, Clayton Chipperfield, his first group 1 win, but

also provided the former leading jumps jockey a massive sense of relief.

"I am glad that is over," he said.

"He's been the talk for the last three months and holy hell, that is a lot of stress.

"I am absolutely chuffed that we can relax now."

Prize money on offer in New Zealand is unlikely to keep Catalyst here for long.

Chipperfield indicated it was likely the 3yr-old would be set for the rich Sydney autumn carnival and that he was unlikely to race in his home country again.

"He will spell here for a couple of weeks, then he will fly home to The Oaks [Stud] for a couple of weeks, then I would say that is the last time we will see him in New Zealand."

Some expected Catalyst to head straight to the lead from barrier 2, but rider Troy Harris elected to handle the horse patiently early in race.

Harris' patient approach produced some nervous moments before the home turn for he and Chipperfield.

The 3yr-old was locked up behind his rivals after racing three back in the inner throughout.

"I was actually panicking turning for home as he was travelling too [well]," Harris said.

"I had to say `whoa, whoa' but as soon as I got out, he just went bang."

Chipperfield was comfortable with where Harris positioned his star galloper in the running.

But he admitted Harris had him concerned before the home turn.

"I was happy he didn't end up in front and he ended up in a very good position," Chipperfield said.

"Coming to the straight I was just hoping for a little bit of room.

"Lucky it is a nice long straight and he has got that turn of foot that he has shown.

"Once he buffeted his way out and balanced up, he fired away from them.

"That's what superstars can do."

Harris quickly deflected praise for his cool and calm ride on to his star mount.

"I'm just a passenger - the lucky guy who gets to ride him," the jockey said.

"I knew I wasn't going to lead and wanted to conserve him just in case he didn't get the mile.

"It's a special moment.

"He just showed you can ride him anywhere and he will win."

Catalyst is a son of 2005 Two Thousand Guineas winner Darci Brahma, from the Entrepreneur mare Evana.

Harlech produced a big run from the rear of the field to run second to Catalyst.

Sherwood Forest held third, ahead of Run To Perfection.

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