While a muddy, rain-affected Randwick track is not what the majority of trainers are after for the 2012 Doncaster Mile this Saturday, Cranbourne horseman Mick Kent is praying for the wet weather to continue for his hope Absolutely.
A known mudlark four-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare Absolutely has won just one of her 13 career starts to date.
It was a beauty to win however with the then three-year-old becoming a Group 1 winner with her three and a half length romp in the 2011 AJC Oaks.
That day saw Randwick rated a Heavy (10) and that’s exactly the kind of conditions Price is hoping for again on Saturday when she goes up against a star-studded field for the $2 million Group 1 BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m).
“Wetter the better for me,” Price said.
“She wasn’t going to run but when the rain came we paid up the $15,000 acceptance fee and hoped the rain kept coming.”
Absolutely hasn’t seen a Heavy track since her Oaks upset but she will on the weekend with Randwick currently a Heavy (8) with another downgrade likely if the rain continues to fall.
Doncaster Day will see Absolutely race third-up for the season and Price is quietly confident she can bring some stiff competition with conditions to suit to some of the shorties in the market.
First-up for the season she ran a good fourth behind fellow Doncaster Mile rival Niagara in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill before her 13th place finish from the extreme outside barrier 17 of 17 behind another Doncaster hopeful Fast Clip in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1600m) last Saturday.
Niagara ($11) and Fast Clip ($34) are two of the three Doncaster chances prepared by Gai Waterhouse who is out for her record-equaling seventh Doncaster Mile victory on Saturday along with $6 co-favourite More Joyous.
Further down the Doncaster Mile odds at bookmaker.com.au lies Absolutely who after opening as long as $71 now sits at a quote of $34 after the rain.
Absolutely has drawn barrier 15 for Saturday, into 14 with the emergencies out, with a jockey still to be confirmed.
Kent hopes to lock in the services of one of the other Doncaster jockeys should some be available through wet weather scratchings.
Notable omissions from the Doncaster Mile field if the track is too Heavy include the Jim Conlan-trained Cox Plate placegetter Rekindled Interest ($16) who is in gate two with Dwayne Dunn to ride, and even six-time Group 1 winner More Joyous who won’t run in the wet again according to her owner John Singleton after two failed attempts.
“If it’s heavy he’s scratched, if it’s slow he runs,” Conlan said of Rekindled Interest.
Should Rekindled Interest come out of the Doncaster Conlan will press onto Saturday week’s $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) where their Sydney Cup Day competition will include the likes of 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain and Peter Moody’s flying import Manighar.
“I’d like to run in the Doncaster, and I will if conditions suit, but I’m in a good position where I’ve got a good option a week later,” he said.
“Manighar and Americain will be tough but Rekindled Interest beat Southern Speed comfortably home in the Mackinnon Stakes when he (Rekindled Interest) was over the top and Southern Speed has been highly competitive with Manighar.”
More Joyous meanwhile has barrier 12 currently with Nash Rawiller to ride; Absolutely has been ridden by Rawiller’s brother Brad for her two most recent runs.
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