POTALA PALACE SON SET FOR SINGAPORE DEBUT

Ridgemont Highlands’ G1 winning stallion Potala Palace could be set for an exciting weekend this week.

His unbeaten son Katak is carded to make his eagerly awaited Singapore debut on Saturday when the entire lines up in a Class 2 sprint over 1200m.

Part-owner Guy Shirtliff, said of Katak’s chances, “The main mission is the Gold Cup. The QEII Cup wouldn’t hurt as he’s a 1600m-2000m horse, but the Raffles Cup in three weeks’ time (September 18) will be his next target after this Saturday’s,” he said.

“We had no luck with Marinaresco a couple of years ago, but he wasn’t 100% sound and he hurt his knee. He never got a chance to race in Singapore and we sent him back to South Africa to retire at the Hemel ‘N Aarde Stud, where he joined Pocket Power, who unfortunately died last month.

“But when Katak was insured, he got an A+. His wind, his joints are perfect, he has great proportion, has no issues, and on raw ability, Dad just thought Katak could well be the next horse to win a big race for him at Kranji.

“He’s won three Group 3 races over 1600m, 1800m and 2400m at home (all at Kenilworth, with the last Leg aptly named the Pocket Power Stakes), which was the Triple Crown of the Cape Town Winter Series.

Unfortunately, it’s taken him longer to get here. We thought the quarantine would take nine months, but it’s taken 12 months, including four months in Mauritius, three months in France where he was pre-trained. He was blowing a lot after his barrier trial (close second to Sing A Song on August 26), but that was probably because he has not raced in a year.

“Over 1200m, which is not ideal, he may need the run against quality sprinters, but that should still bring him up towards the Raffles Cup.”

Now in the care of Ricardo Le Grange, Katak will be ridden by Marc Lerner on Saturday.

Katak was unbeaten in five starts in South Africa, where the Potala Palace son captured the 2020 Winter Series -landing the G3 Kuda Variety Club Mile by five and a half lengths, the G3 Abe Bloomberg Legal Eagle Stakes by three-parts of a length, and the G3 99c Pocket Power Stakes by two and a quarter lengths.

His G1 Premier’s Champion Stakes winning sire made a splash last season when Potala Palace’s daughter Singforafa captured the G1 South African Fillies Sprint.