Catador’s new life
Former Victorian galloper Catador has found a new lease of life thanks to the efforts of Dubbo hobby trainer Allan Gibson.
The well bred five-year-old gelding by Tale Of The Cat chases a hat-trick of wins at Dubbo on Friday on the opening day of the Dubbo Cup carnival.
Catador, a Joe Galea mount, lines up in the Spic’n Span Truck Wash Rating 72 Hcp (2200m).
Catador was purchased as a four-year-old tried horse by Dubbo-based Nick Nettle, a sales manager for a vitamin company specialising in dairy cattle.
After one start under Gibson last December, a problem was detected and the gelding was spelled.
"He had a muscle problem," Gibson, who doubles as a gas fitter, said.
"Once we threw a saddle on him, he wouldn’t stretch out. We’ve learned to overcome the problem.
"We use padded girth tubes now.
"While it’s something he’ll probably have for the rest of his life, a chiropractor pointed out the affected area and we just manage it as best as possible.
"Since he’s come back into work this time and now he’s fit, he’s shown he’s better over a distance.
"I think the horse has proven that over his past few runs."
Catador’s purple patch of form started when he won an 1800m Class Two event at Bathurst on July 17.
A fifth to Camiling over 2000 metres at Wellington on July 27 followed before victory over 1700m at Louth on August 8.
Camiling franked the form finishing runner-up to in-form Moment Of Clarity in the Black Nugget at Mudgee on September 6.
Following a barrier mishap at Warren on August 23 when a late scratching, Catador was forced to trial at Mendooran then, after a 34-day break, scored an outstanding win over 1800 metres at Bathurst in a Rating 62 Handicap last Friday.
"(Race caller) Col Hodges reckons he was 20 lengths off the winner early and even at the 600 metres he was still giving them a big start but hauled them in," Gibson said.
"Considering he drew the outside alley (13), carried 59.5 kilos, was a month between runs and gave them a start and a beating it was a pretty good win.
"He’s a horse with no early dash but he just winds into his races and grinds away.
"He’s fit now, doesn’t need much work and I’m happy to back up.
"He’s pulled up good after Bathurst and if he continues to race well we might take him to town (Sydney) for one of those midweek staying events.
"He took a bit of working out early but I’m warming to the horse. He continues to improve."
By Tony White