Connections eye Country Champs with Kattegat

Kattegat, pictured here winning at Moruya late last year, is being set for the $150,000 South East Racing Association (SERA) Country Championships qualifier at Nowra on February 14. Photo: Bradley Photos

After most recently winning the $50,000 Country Magic Class Three Showcase event at Moruya Jockey Club on January 4, the Temora owned, Kattegat, could be on the path to the $150,000 South East Racing Association (SERA) Country Championships qualifier at Nowra on February 14.

Connections of the up-and-coming NSW country racing star will want to qualify for the event and finish top two, which would give him a chance of racing in the $500,000 final at Royal Randwick on April 3. 

The Natalie Jarvis trained four-year-old has been in mighty good form this preparation too, and prior to his win at Moruya, he ran third at Rosehill on November 28, before running a good second at Royal Randwick behind likely Country Championships series favourite, Another One. 

The Medaglia D’Oro gelding now boasts three wins and four placings from 13 starts, and a good result at his next start will prove critical if he is to qualify for the SERA heat at Nowra. 

A s a result, connections have Kattegat nominated for four races across three venues on Friday, Saturday and Monday, giving them every chance to find the most suitable race.

“We are trying to pick the best race,” said stable representative, Luke Jarvis. 

“We have him nommed at Canberra, Goulburn and Kembla and we will accept at all of them and pick the best race and hopefully he wins and get a couple of benchmark points.”

Kattegat was another shrewd $30,000 purchase from the Godolphin sales, with Thorotek Racing taking a punt on the tried three-year-old, who has since developed into a very talented four-year-old. 

Kattegat with stable hand and track work rider, Maddy Wright. Photo: Thorotek Racing.

“The first season we had with him, he was a three-year-old and he had the spell and he has strengthened up,” Jarvis said. 

“He is a four-year-old now and he has turned into a really nice horse. He has a couple of placings in Sydney and won the Country Magic last start.”

While connections believed Kattegat was up to the challenge of the Country Championships, Jarvis conceded the SERA heat would be one of the toughest to qualify for, let alone win.  

“We are probably in the hardest district, well us and the Hunter Valley is the strongest,” Jarvis said. 

“We need to get him to that benchmark 66 to 68 to be a chance, so he needs to win this week but he is definitely a chance. Another One is the horse to beat in the series and he ran an unlucky second to him.”

According to Jarvis, Kattegat’s style of racing will suit the Country Championships series. 

“They are normally high-pressure races, and it does suit horses that have a finishing burst, leaders are normally stopping and the horses at the back are storming home,” Jarvis said. 

“And his racing pattern should suit it; it’s a matter of getting him in the heat.”

It seems as though Kattegat knows he is quite the star too, with a loveable but arrogant demeanour making him one of the stable favourites. 

“He is quite a character, He is quite full of himself, and he really loves being a race horse,” Jarvis laughed. 

“He loves running around and squealing and he loves his time in the sand roll. On our social media, there is quite a bit of him chasing us out of the sand roll if he isn’t done.”

Syndicate member, Kris Dunstan, who races his horses with Thorotek Racing, was very excited to be racing another talented galloper with Jarvis, and hoped to be competing in the Country Championships earlier next month. 

“It’s a pretty exciting little period for us, we are pretty keen to race and win this weekend and we do not want to leave it to chance,” Dunstan said. 

“We need to get a few benchmarks points this weekend, and do it without expending too much energy.”