IN Racing
Taranaki raider seeking to plunder northern spoils
"He is very honest and is a good galloper so I can’t see any reason why he can’t handle the step up."
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | December 24, 2023
One Bold Cat having a final hit-out at Otaki with stablemate The Underbelly ahead of the Gr.1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (2050m). (Peter Rubery)

In-form gelding One Bold Cat will get his first tilt at elite-level on Boxing Day when he heads north to Pukekohe to tackle the Gr.1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (1600m).

The Taranaki galloper has won seven and placed in two of his 12 career starts for trainer Robbie Patterson, and handled the step-up to stakes level with aplomb at Pukekohe last month when taking out the Gr.3 Counties Cup (2100m).

He will return to the South Auckland venue on Tuesday following a pleasing exhibition gallop at Otaki last Thursday.

“He missed out on a trial on Tuesday so I gave him an exhibition gallop and Gryllsy (Craig Grylls, jockey) was rapt with him. We are going in the right direction,” Patterson said.

One Bold Cat will be met by a handy line-up in the Group One feature, but Patterson is confident his gelding will be competitive in his first weight-for-age outing, particularly if there is any precipitation.

“It is a pretty strong field,” he said. “I know going from handicap conditions to weight-for-age is another kettle of fish but I think he is a horse that will cope with it. He is very honest and is a good galloper so I can’t see any reason why he can’t handle the step up.

“The weather is going to be the dictating factor I would say. There is a bit of rain coming, which won’t worry us as he has won six from seven on a heavy track.

“We are praying for rain, as it helps us, but on top of the ground it is a really even field.”

A freshen-up awaits One Bold Cat following Tuesday’s contest before he is set for further Group One assignments later in summer.

“I don’t think we will go to the Thorndon Mile (Gr.1, 1600m), it is just not his race, he needs further. He will deserve a week to 10 days in the paddock after this,” Patterson said.

“If we he can go well in that the natural progression will be to go to the Herbie Dyke (Gr.1, 2000m) and then the Bonecrusher (Gr.1, 2000m), and that will be his season I would say.

“Then we would get him ready for Hawke’s Bay (Spring Carnival) as he can handle off ground.”

One Bold Cat Robbie Patterson Gr.1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes