Catch A Wave locked in for Nullarbor slot

April 2, 2024 BY

Surprise entry: Long Forest trainer Andy Gath has confirmed that Catch A Wave will run in WA’s richest race. Photo: CLUB MENANGLE



PAST Miracle Mile winner and millionaire pacer Catch A Wave will be a surprise addition to the $1.25mil Group 1 TABtouch Nullarbor at Gloucester Park on April 19.

His Victorian-based trainer Andy Gath confirmed the glamour five-year-old would run in the Rob Tomlinson-managed Regency Foods Australia slot in WA’s richest race.

Catch A Wave will elevate the Nullarbor to the next level, being one of Australia’s top pacers with 19 wins from 34 starts – five of them at Group 1 level – and earnings of $1.28 million.

Gath said he and Tomlinson had been “in talks for a while” and cemented the deal after Catch A Wave’s close second at Melton last night (Saturday).

“It sort of came out of nowhere,” Gath said. “All our focus was on the Miracle Mile until a month ago when he had an injury scare and we had to scrap those plans.

“It turned out to be a corn and hoof abscess and he recovered quickly, so we started to think about the slot races when we’d ruled them out previously.

“Rob (Tomlinson) rang and asked if we’d consider Perth and the more we thought about it, the more attractive it became.

“We’ve been really happy with the horse and if he doesn’t go to Perth, there won’t be for him. We’d have him primed but without a target.

“It would’ve been great to win last night, but hadn’t run for a month and pulled-up blowing like he really needed the run.

“He’ll go around again next week in a 1720m free-for-all. He needs racing now.”

Catch A Wave will be the best-performed pacer to head to Perth from the eastern states or NZ since the likes of Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Tiger Tara, and Have Faith In Me tackled the 2017 Inter Dominion.

My Field Marshal had won the 2018 Miracle Mile before he went from across from NSW and won the 2019 WA Cup, but Catch A Wave’s CV at the same stage is superior.

“We’re absolutely thrilled,” Tomlinson said. “Our aim with the Regency Foods Australia slot to add value and promotion to the Nullarbor and Catch A Wave certainly helps us do that.

“He’s a proven star, has one of the best drivers (Kate Gath) and trainers (Andy Gath) in the land and is so marketable. He brings so much to the race and sport.

“We can’t believe our luck and just hope he gets across and shows WA what a star he is.”

Gath said Catch A Wave will be on the chartered flight with other Nullarbor and Quokka hopefuls from Sydney to Perth 11 days before the Nullarbor.

“It’s a bit earlier that we’d ideally like, but we’re going to try and make that a positive,” he said. “We’ll take the opportunity to race him in a (2130m) free-for-all at Gloucester Park a week before the Nullarbor to give him a look at the track and Kate some experience driving there, too.

“It makes sense to stay and run in the ($300,000) Fremantle Cup the week after the Nullarbor as well.

“Leap To Fame is the standout horse in this part of the world now and it’s rare and exciting to get to run in a couple of major races with over $1.5 million prize money without having to take him on.”

Catch A Wave becomes the fifth confirmed Nullarbor runner, joining Spirit Of St Louis (Aaron Bain Racing & Summit Bloodstock slot); Swingband (Jeavons Racing); Never Ending (Ladbrokes) and Lavra Joe (RAM Racing Syndicate).