A Win For Paddy In Topsy Turvy Year
When Catch The Paddy began his season with a narrow defeat at York’s Dante meeting, it would have been hard to think that it would take almost the rest of the season to gain his first win of 2023. Paddy’s year has been a story of ups and downs but he won impressively at Newmarket when taking the 7f Lope Y Fernandez First Foals 2023 Handicap.
The 3yo colt had enjoyed a fine juvenile campaign last season and headed into 2023 as an exciting prospect. Expectations were heightened with his fine effort on his return to action. Dropping down to 6f and then torrential rain at Haydock could be used to excuse his next couple of efforts. It also led to him having a small wind op before his next start. Two subsequent runs at York yielded another runner up performance and then a disappointing effort.
It had been a frustrating season so far as Catch The Paddy could quite easily have had a couple of wins to his name. Newmarket would be the first time he would take on his elders in a handicap and Ronan Whelan would take the ride. Steadied at the start, Catch The Paddy would race at the rear of the 10 runner field throughout the early stages. With a strong pace up front, the runners were well strung out and Paddy would need to pass almost the entire field.
Racing downhill and towards the dip, the field moved past halfway. There was no let up in the pace and the field got racing a long way from home. Ronan just niggled his mount along to get his colt to lengthen and Paddy started to make a little headway at the rear. With an acres of space Ronan edged towards the far side of the group as they edged closer and closer.
Passing the 2f marker, the ground rises up from the dip and Catch The Paddy had swept through without much notice. Suddenly he was vying for the lead and Ronan gave him a squeeze. Quickening up, the 3yo hit the front and the race was quickly put to bed. In a few strides the colt moved clear with only a furlong to go, he just had to keep up his momentum. Ronan kept his mount up to his work but the victory was already sealed with hilnearlier move. Striding out to he line, Catch The Paddy gained his first win of the season by a comfortable 1 1/4 lengths.
2023 has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Catch The Paddy so it was great to see him gain that win. He is a colt with plenty of potential and ability. Although he only has the one win to his name this year, Paddy has plenty of scope to continue his improvement. Whether he runs again this year will depend on the weather, but if not he could well be a smart handicapper to look froward to next year.