Day At The Track

Catcha Lefty ruled out

07:31 PM 29 Mar 2017 NZDT
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Catcha Lefty
Catcha Lefty
Dan Costello Photo

The upcoming 2017 Brisbane harness racing winter carnival may have suffered its first major casualty.

Richly talented pacer Catcha Lefty has been struck down by a virus and has been sent to the spelling paddock for some down time meaning the four-year-old will miss the features.

A winner of the Queensland Derby last season, Catcha Lefty has recently returned from a frustrating Sydney campaign which netted only one victory from four starts for husband and wife team of Charlie Cini and Cristina Monte.

A spate of bad draws and no luck meant the Village Jasper gelding missed a birth in the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire which was ultimately won by New Zealand star Lazarus.

“Sydney was a wipeout for him because nothing really went to plan; it was disappointing to miss a spot in the Chariots because that was the whole reason for the trip south. He was just about ready to start again up here before becoming ill which forced our hand to give him a good break.” Cini said.

Catcha Lefty loomed as a serious challenger for the Gr.3 $30,000 4yo Championship on July 1, the opening night of the Albion Park winter carnival while connections were considering the open class features.

The Gr.2 $50,000 Sunshine Sprint (July 8) followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake (July 15) were possibilities depending on form.

“It’s disappointing that we will miss those type pf races but the horse comes first, we believe he’s a potential open class horse of the future so we won’t take any risks with him. We’ll give him as long as needs before returning to work.

“He’s won 15 from 32 and proven he can match it with the best so we’re mindful of his future and this break might prove to be a blessing. We’ve always said he’s the best horse that Chrissie and I have had and we’ll look after him because I’m sure he’ll repay us in the future.

“He was probably only a week off starting before we picked up on the virus, he’s been treated and some time on the green grass is the best medicine for him.”

Catcha Lefty last raced on February 11 at Menangle when finishing at the rear after a tough run in a time of 1:50.3.

Chris Barsby

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