Stewart ramps up Karrakatta Plate 2024 bid

It’s been a small sample size, but on exposed form trainer Russell Stewart has a few above average juveniles who are ready to stamp their claims for Karrakatta Plate (1200m) glory on April 20.

The Karrakatta Plate, the jewel in the crown for two-year-olds, is high on the agenda for Russell Stewart, who is set to saddle two of the fancied runners in the Gimcrack Stakes (1100m), Earthstorm and Golden Kathleen, a race he won with Kiss Bang Love (2017).

Earthstorm’s had a two week gap between runs after running a long-neck second to Sir Dreamalot in the Supremacy Stakes (1000m) at Ascot, the Calyx fillies second consecutive placing after a slashing third to Gimcrack rival Golden Vale when on debut.

Stewart, who celebrated his birthday earlier this week, is a big fan of Earthstorm.

“She’s super and is as good as what we all think she is,” Stewart said on Tabradio.

“She’ll be a stakes-winning filly, whether it’s this weekend I don’t know, but it definitely wouldn’t surprise me.

“If she gets onto the right tail look out, she’ll be attacking them at the 100m.

“I think she’s the best filly in the race, or maybe the second best because her stablemate is very good.”

Golden Kathleen was ultra impressive at her only outing when she put up a winning margin of three lengths when stepping out for the first time in a 1100m set weights and penalties race at Bunbury last month.

The Leonardo da Hinchi filly defeated This’Ll Show Ya, Elite Missile with Sir Dreamalot, who has progressed to win two races including the Supremacy Stakes last start, running fourth.

“The pace may have suited her that day and she went bang,” Stewart said.

“She is very good and more than capable of doing it.

“She’s ready to go, but there will be a little bit of improvement, there’s a lot more to come.

“She’s up to the best fillies, but it’s going to be a tough race to win.”

Stewart’s enthusiasm in the Gimcrack Stakes was tempered somewhat after Earthstorm and Golden Kathleen drew wide gates, a similar fate suffered by Gold Maker in the Perth Stakes (1100m).

The Universal Ruler gelding was 1.5 lengths second to Golden Vale on debut, charging home from last and followed up with a seventh in the Supremacy Stakes a fortnight later.

“I feel for the owners, he’s drawn the third outside gate in three starts,” Stewart said.

“But where does the poor horse get to in the race, it makes it tricky for him.”

Steven Parnham rides Gold Maker and Earthstorm. Michael Poy stays on Golden Kathleen.

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