The three-year-old son of Dream Ahead coincidentally had all his 10 previous starts in Restricted Maiden races, picking up three thirds, with two coming in 1400m races.
Favourite Adipson (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) was scratched after he crashed through the gates before the start of the race. The field was then narrowed down to 10 runners.
Upon despatch, Catch The Tiger (Matthew Kellady), Mowgli (Joseph Azzopardi) and Flying Sky (Benny Woodworth) vied for the lead, with the former winning the early speed battle and Mowgli camping on his outside in second place.
Turning for home, Catch The Tiger ($30) began to pull away under Kellady’s urgings before putting the race to bed by two-and-a-quarter lengths from the late-closing Forever Win (Ben Thompson). Mowgli held on for third place another length away.
The winning time was 1min 23.74secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.
Trainer Shane Baertschiger was happy that the Bingo Stable-owned gelding had his way on Friday night.
“Finally, a winner on board for him,” said the Australian of his 25th winner of the season.
“It was not an overly strong form race, and he got a soft lead. He’s been battling, but he’s found the right race.
“He’s only limited, and pretty one-paced, but it all worked out fine for him tonight.”
Malaysian jockey Matthew Kellady, who has partnered Catch The Tiger five times previously, including his last two starts, admitted that frontrunning tactics were not the best option for him, but it worked out in his favour in the race.
“I saw that the favourite (Adipson) was scratched, and then the race panned out perfect for him,” said Baertschiger’s No 2 stable rider.
“It probably wasn’t ideal to ride him in front, but with the lack of pace, I just dictated. They left him alone and he did the rest.
“He can definitely go a bit further, up to 1600m, but he gets fired up easily, so he has to learn how to settle down a bit more before that.”
Thanks to his first win and three previous placings, Catch The Tiger has earned more than $80,000 in prizemoney for connections.