They shoot for their fourth win on the trot but are still over $30 in the markets, Single shaping up as one of the best value runners in Saturday’s Doncaster Mile 2012 at Royal Randwick according to their jockey Nathan Berry.
Berry has been aboard the Craig Carmody-trained local High Chaparral four-year-old for their past five starts, the exciting hoop and horse combo winning four of those.
Since January Single has won their last three Sydney starts at Rosehill, most recently hanging on in a tight finish to win the Listed Sky High Stakes (1900m) on March 24.
Having broken their black-type status and successfully rise through the ranks this season, Randwick-based trainer Carmody will now give Single the chance to face off against the best in the business when they tackle a full weight-for-age field in the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) this Saturday.
The drop back from 1900-metres to the mile is going to work in the horse’s favour, but they do have work to do from their wide barrier 19 draw.
Berry, however, believes that the wide gate will actually be a blessing come Saturday and that the horse’s racing style will suit being away from the fence.
“He’s a horse that takes time to get into gear and into his rhythm,” Berry said.
“You’re probably going to want to be three off the fence.
“I’ll give him a lovely ride and I’m positive he can figure in the finish.
“He’s loaded with ability.
“On Saturday he’ll get a truly run race and he’s been looking for that.”
There is also the likelihood of a wet track for Doncaster Day, and how Single handles the soft track will be crucial to their chances against a crack line-up that includes Randwick mile specialist Secret Admirer, Gai Waterhouse’s six-time Group 1 champion More Joyous, 2010 Doncaster Mile winner Rangirangdoo and Stephen Farley’s stable ace Sincero – just to name a few.
Single has raced against a Group 1 field just once before when finishing eighth to Shootoff in the 2011 Queensland Derby (2400m) last June.
They have also run on one Heavy-rated track when running a credible ninth over 2000-meters at Randwick in May last year.
Berry knows it is a tough ask of Single on Saturday but believes they deserve the chance and have had the right kind of preparation to be competitive against the big guns.
“It’s a big step up again and whether he can take it, we’ll find out Saturday,” Berry said.
“To run a mile at Randwick you need to run a good, strong 1800 metres.
“He’s proven that he’s a tough horse and he’ll see the mile out no worries.
“He’s a horse that doesn’t need a lot of work and he looks enormous at the moment.”
And as for the wet? Berry is unfazed saying Single can handle the heavy going should the rain continue to fall.
“I can’t see the wet being a problem,” he said.
“The first time I sat on him was in a Randwick barrier trail (on Heavy ground) and he felt like he loved it.
“Having the 1800 metre and 1900 metre runs this prep will stand him in good stead for a tough mile on a wet track.”
In the latest Doncaster Mile odds at bookmaker.com.au Single is paying $34, an equal price with the likes of former Australian Oaks winner Absolutely and last Saturday’s Doncaster Prelude winner Fast Clip.
So can Single run top three and add value to the Doncaster Mile Trifecta on Saturday?
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