Day At The Track

Cranbourne vet adds new Waiting Room

03:33 PM 10 Nov 2015 NZDT
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Trotter Waiting Room will campaign from Cranbourne Training Complex.
Trotter Waiting Room will campaign from Cranbourne Training Complex.

Cranbourne harness racing trainer and veterinarian Dr Hugh Cathels has embarked on an ambitious plan to race the North American trotting filly Waiting Room from his base at the Cranbourne Training Complex in the coming months.

Cathels has long harboured a desire to turn his hand to the trotting gait after achieving success with the prominent pacers Garnet River, Gemfire and Astronaut in recent years.

Never one to do things by halves, Cathels hatched a plan some time ago to purchase a well-bred, well-performed USA filly and realised that dream when he secured the three-year-old daughter of Credit Winner at last week’s Harrisburg mixed sales.

The winner of over $78,000US to date, Waiting Room has taken a lifetime mark of 1:56:1 and has recorded wins in a heat of the Kindergarten Series at two and legs of the Excelsior Series at both two and three years of age.  Waiting Room is the oldest progeny of the race winning 1:56:4 mare Wedding Dress who accumulated over $100,000US on the track.

Understandably Cathels is excited at the prospect of getting his purchase downunder.

“My daughter Holly actually flew to Harrisburg and settled on Waiting Room after inspecting a dozen or so fillies that we had picked out from the sale catalogue. I couldn’t get away at this time of year but Holly says she is a lovely big filly with a wonderful temperament.  Hopefully we have got the right horse,” Cathels said.

“She was just below the A-graders this season and only managed one win but was placed in five New York Sires Stakes heats before being unplaced in the final."

Waiting Room will begin a one-month quarantine period in mid-December before flying out to Australia in January. In the meantime Cathels intends racing the mare from the Noel Daly barn hoping to pick up another three-year-old win before the end of the North American season.

“It would be tremendous to pick up another win or two before she flies out to help with the transport costs of getting her home. She is in full work and won a trial last week so we’d be silly not to keep her going. My understanding is that even if she was to win another two before leaving Waiting Room will arrive as a four-year-old T0 mare and so there should be plenty of scope to win a race or two with her here.”

When pressed on his plans for the filly Cathels explained: “We will see how she acclimatises before deciding on a programme for her."

Hugh and Holly, who combine their training duties with a busy equine veterinarian practice, also have high hopes for a current two-year-old colt by Mach Three from Gemfire and a two-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere from Penultimate who should return to their Cranbourne stable in the coming weeks.

by David Scott

Harness Racing Victoria

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