Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The chances of Gai Waterhouse’s pin-up mare More Joyous winning her seventh Group 1 title in Saturday’s 2012 Doncaster Mile at Randwick will take a dive if the wet weather in Sydney continues.
The five-year-old has dominated the bookmaker.com.au markets for the $2 million Group 1 BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) since her two first-up wins at Rosehill this time in, including her second straight victory in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes on Golden Slipper Day.
Waterhouse, however, is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself for her six time Group 1 champ after More Joyous suffered a career worst defeat in last year’s Doncaster Mile in the mud.
Backing up from a blistering three length Queen Of The Turf triumph More Joyous only managed to finish eight and a half lengths away 11th behind Sacred Choice in the Doncaster 12 months ago, Randwick rated a Heavy (10) on the day.
Randwick track manager Navesh Ramdhani has said that with 100 to 200mm of rain predicted to fall over the course in the next 48 hours, a firm track for Doncaster Day was looking less and less likely.
This morning Randwick was rated in the slow range according to Ramdhani who inspected the track at 6:30am after heavy rain earlier.
“We got 22 mils in about half an hour this morning,” Ramdhani said.
“It started bucketing down from about a quarter to seven and it rained for about half an hour.
“That’s it for a couple of hours but the forecast is anything but bright over the next 48 hours.”
Should that much rain fall there is a strong chance Waterhouse and connections will opt to scratch More Joyous from the Doncaster Mile field, which is at capacity with 22 acceptances taken this morning.
“We will never run her again on the heavy after last time,” Duncan Grimley, racing manager for More Joyous’ owner John Singleton, said.
More Joyous is proven on Slow ground having won the 2009 Flight Stakes, 2010 Light Fingers Stakes, 2010 Surround Stakes and the 2011 Canterbury Stakes all on Slow (7) tracks.
In fact her only Slow track defeat was her third to superstar colt Sepoy first-up in last year’s Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
It is a different story and record on Heavy ground however.
Aside from last year’s Doncaster failure the only other time More Joyous has raced on a Heavy track was her horror run when finishing 15 of the 16 runners in the 2009 Golden Slipper.
“We just happened to strike them (wet tracks) on Slipper day and Doncaster day,” Grimley said.
“We won’t be doing that again.
“The original plan was to back up next week into the Queen Elizabeth, but it’s all weather dependent with her.”
The $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1500m) runs Saturday week at Randwick on Sydney Cup Day, the race set to feature a rematch between star imports Manighar and Americain.
Grimley also hinted at a possible trip to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival which would be More Joyous’ first campaign outside of Sydney and Melbourne.
“I am keen to give her a 2000-metres run this prep,” Grimley said.
“The problem with Brisbane is it just shortens your spelling time and that will make it difficult to get her back for what we want in the spring.
“The cards would have to fall a certain way but I wouldn’t rule it (a trip to Brisbane) out.”
Waterhouse will also be represented in the 2012 Doncaster Mile field by her smart three-year-old colt Niagara who Tommy Berry has opted to ride, as well as last Saturday’s Doncaster Prelude champ Fast Clip who will be ridden by Jim Cassidy.
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