Gai Waterhouse’s on-song Encosta De Lago colt Niagara has shot to the top of the 2012 Doncaster Mile odds at bookies around the country after their classy win in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The three-year-old easily defeated a smart field by three and a half lengths, looking on track to become Waterhouse’s seventh Doncaster Mile winner when the $2 million handicap runs at Royal Randwick on April 21.
Waterhouse, however, is yet to confirm she will be paying the acceptance fee for Niagara to get into the 2012 Doncaster Mile field.
“We will let the dust settle on this win but he could not have been more impressive,” she said.
“He is the most improved horse in the stable.
“He’s always had the ability but is only now learning how to use his talents.”
Following their emphatic Ajax Stakes success, the second win of Niagara’s nine-start career to date, the youngster was slashed into $8 co-favourite with Peter Moody’s Redoute’s Choice mare King’s Rose in the Doncaster Mile Handicap odds at bookmaker.com.au.
Four-year-old King’s Rose, last seen running a close third to Ofcourseican in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill, is an elite level winner over the mile in the 2010 NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas when prepared in New Zealand by Jason Bridgman.
Since joining Moody’s Victorian operation last autumn, she has twice placed in a Group 1 over 1600-meters when second to fellow Kiwi King Mufhasa in the 2011 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield and when finishing a short half-head second to Albert The Fat in last year’s Emirates Stakes at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The only other 2012 Doncaster Mile hope under double figures is Grahame Begg’s Coolmore Classic runner-up Secret Admirer ($9), followed by the Chris Waller-trained Shoot Out ($10) who won the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) two starts back before their third to Manighar in the Group 1 Ranvet6 Stakes (2000m).
Waterhouse’s other main Doncaster chance this year is then $11 shot More Joyous.
The five-time Group 1 winning mare resumed after a spell to win the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 24, More Joyous out to atone for her 11th behind Sacred Choice in last year’s Doncaster.
Check out the full range of 2012 Doncaster Mile odds and betting options online at bookmaker.com.au to get the best value on your early selections.