Interest in the 2021 The Kosciuszko has grown significantly in recent weeks, with the 14 lucky ticket holders soon to be drawn on September 9 ahead of the $1.3 million race at Royal Randwick on October 16.
Shrewd owners and trainers far and wide have subsequently stepped-up campaigns for their country sprinters, with many dreaming of the riches associated with NSW country’s premier country race.
Owners of the Nat Jarvis trained Kattegat are no different, and between social media campaigns, a home-made video of his best efforts on the track, local press coverage and a strong stable presence, the talented sprinter, fondly known as the ‘Moruya Marvel’, was sure to pique the interest of potential slot holders.
Owners stepped up their campaign on Tuesday though, getting behind Kattegat and the Moruya Jockey Club, sponsoring four races, including the The Shamrock Hotel Temora supports Kattegat’s Kosciuszko campaign Class 1, Thorotek’s Kattegat for the Kosciuszko Benchmark 66 Handicap, Heck of a deck – Kattegat heck of a horse Benchmark 58 Handicap and Get on the Kattegat Kosciuszko express Benchmark 58 Handicap.
Shamrock Hotel publican and part-owner of Kattegat, Kris Dunstan, explained that the ownership group was just hoping one lucky punter, who ends up a Kosciuszko ticket holder, might have been paying attention when watching the Moruya races.
“It was a bit of a cunning plan, the top horses pick themselves and we are on the second or third line of betting and there are 14 spots, and we want one,” Dunstan said.
“We just hope someone saw it and thinks, ‘we might just pick that horse’.”
Dunstan was also happy to get behind Moruya Jockey Club, with many of the syndicate owners having travelled to the track and enjoyed a day at the races when watching their Thorotek gallopers in action on their home track.
“It was good to sponsor the races and it was the right thing to do,” Dunstan said.
“We have a lot of fun when we go to Moruya, especially over the Christmas holidays and at the Moruya Cup meeting, so it was the least we could do.”
As far as Kattegat’s credentials for the $1.3 million event, Dunstan was not beating around the bush, highlighting that his Medaglia D’oro geding was a winner of five races from 20 starts, and that he had beaten home the highly fancied Another One, and finished just behind Art Cadeau when racing in town.
“He is in-form, he had a good trial the other day and Art Cadeau and Another One are some runners mentioned as chances, but he has beaten Another One and he finished close to Art Cadeau.
“Plus, I think the fact that he is an off-pace runner is to his benefit. In a race like The Kosciuszko, they are going hell for leather, and it is basically set up for a swooper like him.”
If Kattegat was to gain a start in 1200m sprint, Dunstan said it would be a dream for the ownership group, who come from far and wide in NSW.
“That would be beyond our wildest dreams. We signed up for a country horse and to get this opportunity would be unbelievable,” Dunstan said.
“We will worry about that if it happens, but at the moment, it is good fun.”
Moruya Jockey Club Manager Ken Brown was behind Kattegat’s audacious bid to be one of the 14 gallopers contesting The Kosciuszko in October, and he was happy to help, offering premium coverage during Tuesday’s meeting.
“It would be awesome to see a horse from Moruya in The Kosciuszko, I don’t think it has happened before. It would just be good for racing down here,” Brown said.
“It adds an element of excitement to the local racing scene.”
With The Kosciuszko ticket draw nearing ever so closer, time will only tell how owners and trainers, including the connections of Kattegat, step up their campaigns for selection in the race.