For a trainer starting what could be a life-changing campaign Clayton Chipperfield is remarkably relaxed.

Because he knows Catalyst is ready for what lies ahead.

Chipperfield brings his wonder machine 3-year-old galloper to Karaka Million night at Ellerslie tomorrow and while he isn't in the richest races, he might just be the star of the show.

The hype around Catalyst is so big he is second favourite for the Australian Guineas in a month, his $5 price shorter than Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth or Castelvecchio, who finished second to Lys Gracieux in the Cox Plate last start.


That is a rare position for a Kiwi 3-year-old to find themselves in these days, especially in what could be a vintage Australian 3-year-old crop.

If Catalyst is as good as we all think he could then head to the A$5 million All Star Mile two weeks later, playing with the big boys and girls (Melody Belle) at what would be just his 10th start.

It is all heady, glamorous stuff for a down to earth trainer from Te Awamutu like Chipperfield, who just a year ago was more a former jumps jockey turned pre-trainer.

But if Chipperfield is supposed to be nervous about what potentially lies ahead, he hides it well, wearing his confidence like a suit of armour.

"I can't wait to get him there on Saturday," he told the Herald.

"I know we are on the undercard but plenty of people are talking about him.

"And we want to show them how good he is." Chipperfield's lack of nerves about the $1.10 favourite for the Henley Park Mr Tiz Trophy comes from what his horse has shown him both at home and the races.

What about Ellerslie for the first time?


"Not worried at all, he has handled Riccarton, Ruakaka and Hastings first look with no problems before," he returns.

What about being fresh up since the Guineas demolition job 70 days ago as he prepares for 70 seconds of sheer speed?

"I couldn't have been happier with his trial last week.

"We went there not thinking we could beat Te Akau Shark and do it quite easily so he is ready."

And his gear change, the first time this season Catalyst has raced with the blinkers off?

"He had them off last week in the trial and he was perfect without them, no looking around.

"We put them on after his first start because he just didn't concentrate at all that day and got beat. With the blinkers on he won his next start by five-and-a-half so we left them on. But it would be good to not have them if we don't need them.

"So this week will determine whether we put them back on or not for Australia. The way he trialled last week I don't think he needs them any more."

With Catalyst having put on 15kg of muscle since Riccarton and carrying 60.5kg tomorrow you could think there must be some sliver of vulnerability. But Chipperfield loves both.

"He is stronger now so the weight doesn't bother me.

"I can feel it when he gallops. He is stronger all round and, I have no doubts, better.

"So while I respect a horse like Run To Perfection, who ran fourth to us in the Guineas, we should be able to give him 2kgs.

"To be honest, I just couldn't be happier with my horse."

Of course they aren't going to just give the Mr Tiz Trophy to Catalyst, there is still the small matter of overcoming barrier seven, Run To Perfection, Bavella and co.

But we all know Catalyst is very, very good. He might even be special. He might have the motor and stride of a budding champion.

Tomorrow night we will find out a little more.