Ace Sydney trainer Chris Waller could accept as many as five horses in the 2012 Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick this Saturday, the best fancied of his quartet being former Queenslander Shoot Out.
Running as one of three Group 1 races at Randwick on the weekend, there are still officially over 80 horses entered for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m).
Among those are 15 from Waller’s stable, four of which he has confirmed will be paid up for when Doncaster Mile acceptances are taken revealing the final field on Tuesday and a fifth in the heavily-weighted Rangirangdoo also being considered.
The latest Doncaster Mile odds at bookmaker.com.au are led by Gai Waterhouse’s six-time Group 1 winning mare More Joyous at $5.50 who was last seen easily defeating a field of her own type in the Queen of the Turf Stakes (1500m) on Golden Slipper Day.
Waterhouse will vie for her incredible seventh Doncaster Mile victory on Saturday while More Joyous will look to atone for her disappointing 11th behind Sacred Choice in the race on a Heavy (10) track 12 months ago.
More Joyous is followed in the markets by the Grahame Begg-trained Secret Admirer ($7) coming off a George Ryder Stakes third, and then Waller’s recent Chipping Norton Stakes winner Shoot Out.
Shoot Out is considered Waller’s best chance of securing his third Doncaster Mile success, his most recent being with Rangirangdoo in 2010.
Winner of the 2010 Randwick Guineas – Australian Derby double when prepared by John Wallace, High Chaparral five-year-old Shoot Out was last seen running third to Manighar in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24.
“He has come through the race and the trial (on April 10) well,” Waller said of Shoot Out.
“He is well weighted (56.5kg), he is a good Randwick horse and Hugh Bowman sticks with him.”
Rangirangdoo is on the edge of a Doncaster start, Waller admittedly unimpressed with the veteran seven-year-olds’ 58kg weight allocation – they carried 55.5gkt to victory two years ago.
“Rangirangdoo is only 50-50,” Waller warned punters.
“I’ve got to get my head around how he can win with 58 (kilograms).
“He is the worst off at the weights of my runners but when you’ve won a race, you want to win it again.
“But realistically the Queen Elizabeth is his race.
“More Joyous’ weight is not what bothers me,” he added.
“She has 57.5kg which is like carrying 59.5kg with her mare’s allowance.
“It is the horses down the bottom of the weights that are concerning me and if I can get my head around it before (tomorrow) then I will run.”
Otherwise the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) runs at Randwick Saturday week on Sydney Cup Day, April 28.
Rounding out Waller’s 2012 Doncaster Mile team are his fellow Group 1 winners Metal Bender (57.5kg), Danleigh (55kg) and Albert The Fat (55.5kg).
Last-start George Ryder Stakes winner Metal Bender pays $12 in the Doncaster Mile betting markets, the Danasinga six-year-old looking to have recovered completely from the bleeding attack last autumn that saw them sidelined for over a year.
“He pulled up fine (from the George Ryder stakes win) and seems to have come back close to his best,” Waller said.
“He is also good at Randwick and Michael Rodd sticks with him.”
Metal Bender is then followed by Danleigh at $34 who ran second to Shoot Out in the Chipping Norton before their distant 13th in the George Ryder, and then $71 roughie Albert The Fat – winner of last spring’s Emirates Stakes.
“Kerrin McEvoy will ride Danleigh,” Waller confirmed.
“He won the (2009) Manikato on him and we’ve had a bit of luck with Kerrin when we are able to get him.”
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au to view the official 2012 Doncaster Mile final field and barrier draw once released tomorrow.
Now is your last chance to lock in your early Doncaster selections at their juicy futures prices.
So head along to bookmaker.com.au to get in on the action and remember to quote the code BONUSBET when opening your account to enjoy a $300 Bonus Bet!