Cup Spot Up For Grabs In SA Match Race Clash

CATCH The Thief takes his match race credentials to Angle Park on Thursday night and stand-in trainer Petar Jovanovic says "they will know he's here".

David Brasch

22 September 2020

YOUNG star Catch The Thief takes his match race credentials to Angle Park on Thursday night and stand-in trainer Petar Jovanovic says “they will know he’s here”.

The son of Aussie Infrared and Dundee Ally arrived in Adelaide not long after being caught on the line when second to Christo Bale in the Group 3 Speed Star (525m) at The Meadows last Wednesday.

“I had got him over a few weeks before that to trial around Angle Park,” said Petar.

“He was having his first look at the track and went 4.39, 16.71 and clocked 29.43.

“That first section will lead 99 percent of races ever held at Angle Park. And, you would think he could improve even further on the 29.43 first look at the track.

“He’s a serious dog as we’ve seen.”

Trainer Matt Clark sent Catch The Thief to Jovanovic for the match race series which gives the winner automatic entry into the Group 1 Adelaide Cup final on October 9.

On Thursday night he comes up against star local Alfieri in a hotly anticipated two dog clash. 

The matches are: Oakvale Beauty v Shadow Mist, Golden Night v Lektra Theory, Alfieri v Catch The Thief, and Defy v Zipping Zarbo.

Jovanovic said Catch The Thief had settled into his kennels like the true professional he is.

“I cannot believe how good he is,” he said.

“He does nothing wrong around the kennels, but when I slipped him this week he instantly became the race dog he is.”

Jovanovic knows the toughest to beat will be in-form South Australian star Shadow Mist, but handed out a tip for that dog’s match race rival Oakvale Beauty, trained by Nathan Wilson.

“Oakvale Beauty is on her way back from injury,” he said.

“But she trialled 25.22 at Murray Bridge before the race meeting on Sunday and that is flying.

“She is nearly right back to her best and the match with Shadow Mist will be a great one,” he said.

Oakvale Beauty, winner of the Group 2 Laurels, was a Melbourne Cup finalist and is a high class race bitch.

Jovanovic admits he has cut down his racing kennel these days and has been sending some dogs to Jess Hopkins in Victoria to train.

“She is as good a trainer as there is in Victoria,” said Petar in high praise for the young woman.

“Her grandfather beat my dog Shayne’s Champ in the Topgun with Wylie Boy many, many years ago.”

FORM FOR ANGLE PARK THURSDAY NIGHT