There is a simple logic behind trainer Grant Allard’s decision to start in-form sprinter Catesby in the Listed Keith Noud Quality at Doomben.
In addition to the 1200m stakes event, Catesby was entered for a class six race but the disparity in weight the gelding was allotted in each event forced Allard’s hand.
“I was going to run him in the 1110-metre class six but they gave him 61 kilograms so I thought, while the horse is in good form and consistent, I’d give him a chance in a race that presented itself which was the Keith Noud,” Allard said.
“While he’s fit and well and at the top of his game he deserves a crack.
“He gets down in the weights and he’s drawn the one (gate) so he gets his chance.”
It is not the first time Allard has tested Catesby in black-type company.
“I ran him in the Show County last preparation and he only got beaten just over a length and it was a huge run that day,” he said.
Catesby has been freshened by Allard since winning in class six grade at Doomben on October 17 carrying 58.5kg.
On Saturday the gelding drops to the minimum weight of 54 kilograms.
Allard will also be keeping a close eye on the weather because he is adamant Catesby does not perform at his best on rain-affected going.
“If you spit on the ground he goes terrible but if he gets a dry track he’s always competitive,” he said.
“The only times he’s run a bit ordinary were on soft surfaces.”
Allard plans to give Catesby a break from racing after Saturday’s assignment but is considering bringing him back to Queensland in January.
Catesby began his career as a member of the powerful Godolphin team before being sold.
His dam Mannington, a daughter of Danehill and Golden Slipper winner Bint Marscay, won her first three starts as a two-year-old before finishing third in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes.
At stud she has produced Victoria Derby winner Benicio and enigmatic sprinter Roheryn.