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McLain Ward (USA) wins a lot with a myriad of different horses, and when you think of the Brewster, NY based Olympian, you can’t help but think of names like Sapphire, Rothchild, HH Azur and Clinta.

Most recently, Ward won the CSI3* Grand Prix of Greenwich with a newer mount, Lezaro.

The speed horses (Remember HH Carlos Z?) often get overlooked, but Ward has made a point as of late to recognize the breadwinner of his string. He’ll tell you, it’s not the 1.60m horses that pay the bills. It’s the speedster, Catoki.

“That’s his job: to cover these shows and try to win these second classes,” Ward said.

“I always say he pays the entries and the bills for the rest. He’s a blast. He’s always in for a shot, and he really does his job well.”

The 13-year-old Westphalian gelding joined Ward’s string at the end of 2019, and the small diminutive bay quickly made winning a habit. We’ve collected the numbers to truly illustrate the gelding’s prowess.

Since January 2020, Ward and Catoki have won a remarkable 17 international classes, with more than 40% of those wins coming at the five-star level. All but one victory has come at 1.45m, with the other, impressively being the Puissance at the 2021 Washington International Horse Show at Tryon, in which he and Ward three-way tied with Daniel Coyle (Imar) and Santiago Lambre (The Diamant Rose Z).

In 40 international starts in 2021 and 2022, Catoki has averaged less than a rail (3.14 faults) and a finish position in the top 12. For the bay’s career, he has averaged just 2.36 faults at 1.45m, with an average finish position at the height of 10.5. And In 26 starts the CSI5* level, Catoki holds his form, averaging 2.69 faults and a finish position of 14.

Keep in mind that prize money is distributed at minimum to the top 12—meaning, Catoki is almost always bringing home a check. In 2022, Catoki boasts an outstanding win percentage of 26.67% and is finishing on the podium 40% of the time.

Undoubtedly, at least some of Catoki’s success must be attributed to management. Despite his winning record, his connections have clearly identified his strengths in speed contests and have rarely asked him to jump above his comfort level at 1.45m.

Catoki has made just 13 career starts at 1.50m or above and has never jumped 1.60m (outside of special competitions, like a Puissance). His averages rise significantly at these heights: At 1.50m and 1.55m, Catoki averages 7 faults per round—nearly two rails.

At 1.45m, does Catoki have a weakness? Unsurprisingly, Ward, as a rider, is very balanced and even-leaded across his mounts. Overall, there is only a slight left-lead weakness (48.54% vs. 43.69%).

However, Catoki has faults far more often off the left lead—75% of his faults come off the left, with just 25% off the right. Any course set primarily off the right lead will bode better for this combination.

Moreover, Catoki’s faults most often tend to come at the end of the course. This could be a result of several factors: the high amount of energy the bay expends; the fact that he is building in power throughout the track; and that generally, courses tend to get more technical at the end.

According to Prixview Next Gen data, 66.67% of Catoki’s faults come in the final third of the course. These fences tend to be verticals (62.5% of the time).

If conditions are right, it’s hard to pick against Catoki. Add this top speed horse to your fantasy selections

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Feature image: Sportfot