Lightly-raced mare Cat Empire delivered on the expectations of her jockey Mitch Aitken when she posted an impressive maiden win at Kyneton on Thursday.

Mitch, who had ridden the four-year-old when resuming over 1107 metres at Stawell last start, said Cat Empire’s fast finishing fourth pointed to her victory second up this campaign.

“She was good at Stawell where she settled back (last) and really hit the line, so I came here confident she could win,” Mitch said.

Cat Empire started $3.20 favourite in the Hygain Maiden Plate (1225m) with punters latching on to the eye-catching Stawell run where she narrowly missed finishing second.

From barrier three she settled just two lengths off the lead in fourth place and had plenty to offer approaching the home turn when waiting for a run.

The gap came three off the rail entering the straight and in the middle of track Cat Empire charged home, taking the lead near the 50 metres, and drawing clear to score by 1-3/4 lengths from Meghan and Boulder County.

Trainer Vincent Malady the extra 118 metres worked in Cat Empire’s favour and was pleased with how well she finished off to win.

“She had a good trail behind the leaders and was keen enough before quickening and winning well,” Vincent said.

Owner Eddie Hirsch bred Cat Empire who is a daughter of Sebring and Lady Cat.

Vincent paid tribute to the team at Hirsch Racing and the wonderful work they have done with Cat Empire, particularly her track rider Maddi.

“They are a terrific group of people and so important to the success of horses like Cat Empire,” Vincent said.


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