Trainer Nigel Blackiston has been thrilled with the form and class displayed by Cathy’s Mark this time in and is confident the classy mare is more than capable of figuring in Saturday’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville.
Posting one win and a further three minors through her eight career starts so far, Cathy’s Mark returned this time for third in a Ballarat minor over 1400m on March 5th; progressing to third in the Listed Laelia Stakes (1600m) before running a credible fourth in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) on April 18th.
Having drawn the ideal barrier 4 for her maiden tilt at the highest level of Australian racing, Blackiston has identified east coast raiders Fontein Ruby and Fenway as the major threats but is confident his runner is capable of 2015 Australasian Oaks success, particularly over the distance.
“It’s a nice barrier which helps us but this field is a lot stronger,” Blackiston told The Advertiser.
“I always thought she’d be a filly who would get better over ground.
“She’s always shown above-average ability and her three runs this time have been excellent.
“Hopefully on Saturday that can come to fruition.”
Cathy’s Mark’s performance for fourth from the wide barrier 15 in the Auraria Stakes has Blackiston believing the allocation of barrier 4 will mean the difference in 2015 Australasian Oaks success.
“It was an excellent run,” he said.
“From the awkward gate we ended up further back than we wanted to but she finished off very nicely.”
Stamping her claims as one to watch over an impressive debut preparation through spring, Cathy’s Mark won the Australia United Advisers Maiden (1300m) first-up; progressing to second in the Skm Recycling BM64 (1500m) but failed to handle a step back in distance when 13th in the Listed Lexus Hybrid Plate (1400m) on November 4th.
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