Chris Waller may be saddling up four chances in the Doncaster Mile 2012 at Randwick on Saturday, and while not wanting to play favourites, it is his Chipping Norton Stakes winner Shoot Out who he rates the best chance.
Waller vies for his third win the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) this year, his most recent success coming in 2010 with injury-prone galloper Rangirangdoo.
A rising eight-year-old Rangirangdoo is among Waller’s Doncaster crew again this year as they come off a close sixth to stablemate Metal Bender in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on Golden Slipper Day.
Metal Bender was to also have run in the Doncaster this weekend but was sent to the spelling paddock earlier in the week due to a minor leg injury.
In the latest Doncaster Mile betting odds at bookmaker.com.au Rangirangdoo, the 58kg topweight of the capacity field, pays $10 to become a dual winner in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival classic.
“I think Rangi’s close to his best form,” Waller said.
“He only finished sixth in the George Ryder but was only beaten half a length and was dropping back from 2000 metres and I think it just took a bit of speed out of him.
“I couldn’t be happier with him; unfortunately he has 58kg, that’s his big negative.”
Ten dollars is also the price punters will find Shoot Out for.
Drawn ideally in gate 10 with Hugh Bowman to ride former Queensland galloper Shoot Out has had four runs for Waller since joining his operation late last year.
They have won one of those with a big two length win over their stablemate Danleigh in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm last month, Shoot Out now a triple Group 1 winner having also saluted in the 2010 Randwick Guineas and 2010 Australian Derby when prepared by John Wallace.
Last start the High Chaparral five-year-old finished just a length away third behind Manighar and Rangirangdoo in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24, Waller confident they have come on enough since to win their fourth elite level on Saturday.
“I think Shoot Out was unlucky not to have won the Ranvet,” Waller said.
“Freshening up four weeks into the Doncaster is ideal and that’s the race he’s been set for all along.
“The distance is right and he will run extremely well.
“He’s drawn a good gate in 10 and seems pretty comfortable in most track conditions.”
Currently the course proper at Randwick is rated a Heavy (8) and while it doesn’t look like getting an upgrade any time soon Waller has his fingers crossed it gets into the Slow range at least by Doncaster Day.
“Hopefully it’s not heavy, but it won’t worry him as much as some other runners,” he said.
Waller’s other hopefuls are then 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes winner Danleigh and last spring’s Emirates Stakes victor Albert The Fat paying $34 and $67 respectively in the Doncaster markets.
“All four horses are heading in the right direction and they’ve all got their chance,” Waller said.
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