Jockey Michael Rodd riding Catapulted to victory in yesterday’s group 3 Standish Handicap at Flemington.MELBOURNE – Classy six-year-old sprinter Catapulted got within half a second of the course record to win the group 3 Standish Handicap at Flemington.
Nanjing Night Net

The Mark Kavanagh-trained chestnut was explosive up the straight course and he spreadeagled his rivals to win yesterday’s 1200-metre feature by three lengths in a sizzling 1:7.66.

Iglesia set the course record when he won the 2001 Standish in 1:7.16 while unbeaten champion Black Caviar won last year’s Newmarket Handicap in 1:7.36.

Kavanagh said he was confident he had Catapulted close to his best after a failed trip to Sydney last month but was unprepared for the ease of his win and the winning time.

“I was surprised he did that with the weight (59kg) but he is a good horse when right,” Kavanagh said.

“I thought we had him nearly back and it is good to see him hit form again.

“He got them off the bridle a long way out and that always helps in sprint races.

“He’s been a fabulous horse, a great horse.”

Kavanagh is now planning to travel interstate again with Catapulted to contest the $400,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.

“It is a quality handicap so we might take him up there now,” Kavanagh said.

Catapulted is no stranger to Queensland having won the group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) in June 2010 at Eagle Farm.

The Standish was his 11th win from 27 starts and his sixth at stakes level. However he had been winless since the group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield in February last year.

Michael Rodd, who returned from a Christmas break four days ago, rode Catapulted confidently in the first four and said he was “giggling” when the gelding was travelling so well in the run.

“With the run he had to the 600 metres I was giggling to myself because he is just below spring carnival form and not many of these horses have reached those heights yet.”

Rocking Force, who won the Listed Swisse Vitamins Stakes at Flemington three starts ago, charged home late to dead-heat for second with Cascabel while Canali raced on the pace all the way and finished fourth.

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