Vinny's youngsters hard to catch at Caulfield

4 min read
The 2-year-old crop of Yarraman Park's I Am Invincible came to the fore on Blue Diamond Preview day at Caulfield, with Catch Me confirming her credentials as a top-flight juvenile and I Am Immortal announcing himself with a bold front-running debut win.

Honours went to the filly over the colt, with Catch Me enduring a tougher run and running a marginally faster time (0.09s) than I Am Immortal as both established themselves as serious contenders for next month's G1 Blue Diamond S. at the same venue.

Catch Me, such an impressive winner when victorious in the G3 Gimcrack S. on debut in September, was made to work much harder for her black type this time around, traveling wide and midfield early in the G3 Blue Diamond Preview for the fillies.

Kerrin McEvoy was able to push her into the clear in the straight and she responded well to his urgings to down the front-runner Jedastar (I Am Invincible) by a length, with debutante Shih Tzou (Zoustar), who loomed as a likely challenger at the furlong, in third.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden was very happy with what he saw from Catch Me.

"She probably had the toughest run of all of them and she pulled out plenty, as horses with ability seem to do. She's on the way," he said.

"She probably had the toughest run of all of them and she pulled out plenty." - Peter Snowden

"She's well above average and to do what she did and the way she did it, I thought there was a lot of merit in that."

"She’ll definitely be a better filly for that run today. It’s a good start, but we've got two more races to go."

Catch Me winning the G3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview

The win was made all the more meritorious after Catch Me played up badly in the mounting yard, dislodging McEvoy in the process.

"Once we got on the track, she was fine" McEvoy said. "She cantered around to the start lovely and did it well."

"It was her first time around Caulfield and she wobbled a bit around the corner, but she was on the edge of the group. I was pleased with the way she regrouped around that last part of the corner and kicked up when I asked her."

"I was pleased with the way she regrouped around that last part of the corner and kicked up when I asked her." - Kerrin McEvoy

McEvoy, who has won the Blue Diamond S. twice before aboard Sepoy (Elusive Quality {USA}) in 2011 and True Jewels (Brief Truce {USA}) in 2001, agreed with Snowden that there was considerable improvement in the filly.

"She will only improve. We’ve got two weeks into the next one and third up into the Diamond, so she’ll be a force to be reckoned with in that race."

A $625,000 Easter Sale buy for Yulong and now a dual Group 3-winning 2-year-old, Catch Me is going a long way to repaying her owners.

Catch Me as a yearling

"Mr Zhang has been purchasing horses and investing heavily in our industry, so it’s nice to get a good winner for him," McEvoy said. "She's two from two, and she's worth a bit of money as well."

Immortal speed impossible to hold out

Anthony Freedman snapped up I Am Immortal from the same sale for $200,000 after the colt was initially passed in and it looks like a sound investment after he put on an exhibition of 2-year-old speed to win the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (colts and geldings) impressively.

Ben Melham assumed the lead from the barriers and his main rival, Godolphin colt Microphone (Exceed and Excel), never got any closer to him than the length they were separated on the line. Alburq (Rubick) worked home for third.

While he looks a horse best suited over the shorter course races, Freedman said that I Am Immortal had come to hand so quickly, he wasn't sure where his ceiling was.

"He's just came on the scene in the last few weeks," Freedman said. "We haven't really done a lot with him to be perfectly honest. He's just a naturally gifted sort of colt."

"He's just a naturally gifted sort of colt." - Trainer, Anthony Freedman

"Obviously he has got good speed. We just need to manage him a bit, the way he races, because it would probably be difficult to lead all the way in the Blue Diamond. But he did the job today and he's the sort of horse who probably can take a sit."

Melham was impressed with what he saw from the first-starter.

"He's very fast and has a big action," Melham said.

Yarraman Park retains a share in I Am Immortal, who races in the Dream Thoroughbreds colours.

He is the fifth stakes-winning 2-year-old for I Am Invincible this season, surpassing the stallion's previous best of four with over six months of the season remaining.