Wave Peaking Towards Nullarbor

31 March 2024 | Adam Hamilton
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Catch A Wave & Kate Gath

Catch A Wave & Kate Gath Photo by Pacepix/Club Menangle

FORMER Miracle Mile winner Catch A Wave fired a warning shot to his $1.25mil Group 1 Nullarbor rivals when he farewelled Victoria with a blistering return to winning form at Melton last night.

It moved his driver Kate Gath to declare the $1.3 million earner felt like "his old self" at just the right time for a three-race WA raid, starting with a free-for-all at Gloucester Park on April 12.

Just a week ago, Catch A Wave was confirmed in the Rob Tomlinson-managed Regency Foods slot in Australia's second-richest race on April 19.

"Just in the past week his work has really improved at home and he's felt like his old self," Gath said.

"To back that up with a win like that is a relief and really pleasing."

Catch A Wave was the hottest property in the sport when he completed the rare Chariots Of Fire/Miracle Mile double 13 months ago.

But his form has been indifferent in the 13 starts since last night was just his third win.

"He's grown a lot. By that I mean he's a much bigger horse now than when he won the Chariots and Miracle Mile," Gath said.

"It takes a lot longer to get him fit, and it's taken us a while to understand the extra work we need to put into him."

"When he was beaten first-up, we thought he was ready, but he blew up after it like he really needed the run."

"We've upped his work at home, but as Andy (Gath, trainer) said, he just needs racing, too."

"That's why he should only keep improving from this, and we'll give him another run (April 12) before the Nullarbor."

Catch A Wave will travel to Sydney next Sunday, where he will join a flight to Perth with fellow Nullarbor eastern states raiders Hot And Treacherous and Spirit Of St Louis.

The trio will also stay in WA for the $300,000 Group 1 Fremantle Cup on April 26.

In other Nullarbor news, Jumpingjackmac almost certainly locked in the Steve Waters/Gary Hall Sr slot in the race with his fantastic win over many of WA's major Nullarbor hopefuls in last night's $50,000 Bunbury Cup.

Brilliantly driven by Stewie McDonald, Jumpingjackmac finished strongly to beat Pinny Tiger, with leader Swingband third. Lavra Joe rocketed home late for fourth, while young gun Never Ending did the work outside the leader and looked to run out of condition late to finish 4.7m away in sixth spot.

After the win, Jumpingjackmac firmed from $21 to $8 for the Nullarbor, while Catch A Wave fell from $9 to $7. 

Hot And Treacherous, trained and driven by Jason Grimson and Cam Hart, who won last year's Nullarbor with Betterzippit, is a $4.50 favourite in a wide-open market.

The confirmed runners so far: Catch A Wave (slot: Regency Foods Australia), Hot And Treacherous (TABtouch), Lavra Joe (RAM Racing Syndicate), Never Ending (Ladbrokes), Swingband (Jeavons Racing), Spirit Of St Louis (Aaron Bain Racing & Summit Bloodstock).

Other key contenders expected to land slots are Jumpingjackmac, Minstrel and Mighty Ronaldo.

·      Adam Hamilton is a paid contributor writing on harness racing for News Corp.

 

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