Miracle Mile winner makes race day return
By Adam Hamilton
While buzz pacer Leap To Fame chases the biggest win of his career at Albion Park in Queensland on Saturday night, Miracle Mile winner Catch A Wave will make a low-key return to racing 1800kms away at Melton in Victoria.
Andy and Kate Gath’s four-year-old steps out for the first time since winning that $1mil Miracle Mile on March 4 at Menangle when he faces just five rivals in the Preux Chevalier free-for-all (2240m).
With Leap To Fame’s stunning dominance sparking calls he could be the best pacer in the world, there will be plenty of interest in Catch A Wave, who boasts 17 wins from 22 starts starts and $1.12mil.
Trainer Andy Gath has already seen enough at home in recent weeks to convince him Catch A Wave had definitely improved.
“He spelled really well and came back looking great,” he said, “there’s no doubt his work is better at home and in our mind, he’s gone to another level again.
“Sometimes he could be a bit lackadaisical in his work, but over the last two weeks he’s really been savaging the line. You don’t have to ask him, he just wants to put them away. He’s showing killer instinct.
“I guess he started to show signs in his last five or six runs last campaign, but it’s really evident now. He’s a different horse at home.”
On Saturday night, Catch A Wave should waltz straight to the lead from gate three with his trademark brilliant gate speed.
“It’s a perfect kick-off race. It’s not overly strong and he should sail to the front and run the race under his own terms.
“We’ve still got plenty of time until the TAB Eureka so we’re more about going through the motions now, we’ve can really screw him down closer to it. He doesn’t need to go out there and do anything special this week.”
Gath is hoping this will be the first of three lead-up races, all in Victoria, for Catch A Wave before the TAB Eureka.
“That’s the ideal plan, as long as the races stand-up. The key for me is having a race here two weeks out from the Eureka. If he misses one in between, we can work around that,” he said.
“We’re not keen on going up to Menangle early for a lead-up race, he’s been there and handled the trip and the track well, he doesn’t need it again before the big one.”
Catch A Wave is $3 second favourite behind Leap To Fame ($2) in prepost TAB Eureka markets.
Like everyone, Gath has been watching Leap To Fame’s continued rise with plenty of interest.
“And plenty of excitement,” he said, “he’s a great horse to watch and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of racing against him for the first time. We’re not shirking the issue, it’s something to be excited about.
“It’s terrific they haven’t raced each other yet, nobody really knows what to think just yet.
“Maybe he’ll be too good for us, but maybe we’ll be good enough to beat him. I can’t wait.
“I also think it’s great they’re both racing this weekend. It’s good for the sport and part of the romance of the TAB Eureka as a race.”