Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller has confirmed that after much deliberation with connections his stable stalwart Rangirangdoo would accept for the Doncaster Mile 2012 field.
Running this Saturday as the marquee race at Royal Randwick, the $2 million Group 1 BMW Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) is one of the richest races on the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival calendar.
Waller was originally to saddle up five hopefuls in this year’s Doncaster Mile field as the ace horseman vies for his third win in the classic.
Late Monday afternoon, however, it was revealed that one of his top hopes in George Ryder Stakes winner Metal Bender had been withdrawn and sent to the spelling paddock due to heat found in his lower legs.
“He just had a little bit of heat in his legs this morning and I am not prepared to take the risk with him so he will go to the paddock,” Waller said on Monday.
“We will look at him again in a few months and see where we are situated for the spring.”
Waller was still on track to be represented in the race by his Chipping Norton Stakes champ Shoot Out – one of the headliners in the Doncaster Mile odds at bookmaker.com.au, rising nine-year-old Danleigh and reigning Emirates Stakes victor Albert The Fat.
He has since confirmed that his popular Pentire seven-year-old Rangirangdoo would also be there on Saturday out for their second win in the race having saluted in the 2010 Doncaster Mile.
There was a chance that Rangirangdoo, last seen running a close sixth in the George Ryder Stakes, would bypass the Doncaster in favour of a run in Saturday week’s $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) after they were heavily weighted with 58kg for this weekend.
Waller has decided to give the old boy his chance, however, with Ranigrangdoo to join his trio of stablemates in the Doncaster and possibly even back up for the Queen Elizabeth as well.
“After speaking with his owners I couldn’t really come up with a good enough excuse not to run,” Waller said on Monday afternoon.
“Realistically I think he might struggle with the weight (58kg) but he is not getting any younger and we probably won’t have another chance to run in a Doncaster.
“If he comes through the Doncaster without any issues he will press on to the Queen Elizabeth.”
With Metal Bender to have been ridden by Michael Rodd, Rodd will now get a chance in the race aboard Rangirangdoo with the galloper’s regular jockey Corey Brown serving a suspension.
The official 2012 Doncaster Mile acceptances have now closed with the final field and barrier draw to be published shortly.
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