New Zealand star Catalyst chasing The Everest slot in The Shorts

An eye-watering $22.5 million in purses could be on the line for Kiwi star Catalyst in Saturday’s Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick.

Trainer Clayton Chipperfield has sent his stable back across the Tasman for another Australian assault and has his sights set on a historic and lucrative double.

Both the $15 million The Everest at Randwick on October 17 and $7.5 million Golden Eagle on October 31 at Rosehill are on Chipperfield’s radar for Catalyst.

The trainer is hoping his gun galloper can put slot holders on notice in Saturday’s $500,000 feature in Sydney, which will provide a launching pad for several The Everest contenders.

Current slot holder Classique Legend and Godolphin top seed Bivouac will both run while in-form sprinter Eduardo is also set to battle Chipperfield’s son of Darci Brahma.

“If happens to get a slot after this Saturday you have to put The Everest on the cards,” Chipperfield said.

“At this stage the plan is Saturday, Silver Eagle then Golden Eagle but if they give you a spot you have to go have go don’t you?

“We think he is the sort of horse that could run in an Everest and a Golden Eagle.

“I think he is forward enough to go close on Saturday. I am not saying he will come out and beat that field easily because it is a sharp field but he should let them know he is there and be running on.”

Catalyst is on the third line of betting at $11 for the Golden Eagle while he is a $15 chance in The Everest markets with eight slots still open for the lucrative sprint.

Catalyst will likely re-ignite his rivalry with Queensland star Alligator Blood in the Golden Eagle.

Alligator Blood and Catalyst went toe-to-toe at Flemington. Picture: AAP/Vince CaligiuriSource:AAP

The talented duo produced one of most enthralling encounters of 2020 when David Vandyke’s talented gelding edged out Catalyst in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in February.

Alligator Blood got the better of Catalyst again in the Group 1 Australian Guineas with the latter heading to the paddock after finishing sixth in the feature.

“He went straight out for a spell after that obviously but he’s good back in very good order,” Chipperfield said.

“We put him on the water walker for a couple of weeks and then he came to me before we trialled him just before he went to Australia.

“He won the trial quite nicely under a nice hold so we knew there we had him back.

“We weren’t too worried about the travelling because he did last year and settled right in so we are where we should be anyway heading into Saturday.”

Clayton Chipperfield with Catalyst earlier this year. Picture: Pat Scala/Racing PhotosSource:Supplied

Chipperfield says Catalyst has grown up substantially during his time in the paddock.

“He is definitely bigger and stronger now,” he said.

“Troy Harris rode him in his trial before he flew out to Australia and said he is much stronger and a lot more professional this time around.

“That’s good coming from Troy because he has done a lot of riding on him and knows him well.”

Jockey Glen Boss will head to Rosehill on Tuesday morning to give Catalyst a crucial tune up for Saturday’s race.

Catalyst opened at $5 in The Shorts betting.

Originally published asKiwi star chasing share of $22.5 million

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