Top filly Catchy (Fastnet Rock-Cats Whisker, by Fusaichi Pegasus) will miss Saturday's Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes in preference for the Gr2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington on 16 September, reports racing.com. The Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner, who has never raced at Flemington, resumed with a narrow defeat to Crown Witness in the Gr3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Moonee Valley on 19 August. Owner and breeder Rob Crabtree of Dorrington Farm said the logic behind the plan was to give Catchy some vital experience up the famous Flemington straight. "David [trainer David Hayes] said this morning he'd prefer the Danehill. I said, 'Why? She's already won at Moonee Valley for us'," Crabtree said. "He said, 'Well at some stage you've got to run at Flemington, you'll need some experience at Flemington'. Crabtree continued: "He's a pretty good thinker, David. Not just a good trainer, he's a good, quiet thinker. At this stage, I'd say we're leaning towards the Danehill."
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Widden Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Star Witness (Starcraft-Leone Chiara, by Lion Hunter) added a black-type success when 3YO filly Crown Witness (Star Witness-Noble Heir, by Kahal) held on determinedly to defy all challengers by 0.2-length for trainer Stuart Webb in the $150,750 Gr3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) for 3YO fillies, over last season's Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy and Ploverset. This was the first stakes victory for the undefeated Crown Witness and took her record to 3 wins for $221,500 earnings. Crown Witness was a $50,000 purchase at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Golden Grove and is a son of a South African Gr1 sprint-winning mare.