Bart Cummings’ classy Vinery Stud Stakes winning filly Norzita has firmed right into second favouritism for Saturday week’s 2013 Doncaster Mile sitting behind only five-time Group 1 champion Pierro in the markets for the classic handicap.
The three-year-olds are dominating the early markets for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) this year, held at Royal Randwick on April 20, with Gai Waterhouse’s Lonhro colt Pierro the dominant $2.10 favourite.
Pierro’s price to win the Doncaster Mile, taken out 12 months ago by his established stablemate More Joyous, shortened over the weekend when they posted their third win on the trot this time in taking out the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) against a field full of older, more experienced weight-for-age stars.
The next best fancied Doncaster hope and the only other horse under double-figures is then Norzita, the daughter of Thorn Park scoring her second elite level trophy last Saturday winning the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
Norzita could be found as long as $26 in the earlier Doncaster Mile betting markets but is now considered the best chance of upsetting Pierro in his quest to hand Waterhouse with back-to-back wins in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival major.
Originally the bookies and punters had Norzita pinned to back-up in the $550,000 Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on Doncaster Mile Day.
After her Vinery success over the 2000m at Rosehill however connections confirmed she would drop back to the 1600m for the Doncaster which they expect her to be very competitive over.
Co-third favourites for the Doncaster Mile are then the Guy Walter-trained Commands mare Appearance and Chris Waller’s High Chaparral six-year-old Shoot Out at $14.
Four-year-old Appearance is surely one of the most underrated mares on the scene having saluted in her third Group 1 success on the weekend as a $9 outsider when backing up from her Coolmore Classic victory with a win in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Shoot Out meanwhile enjoyed a first-up win when successfully defending their Chipping Norton Stakes title before their brave third to Pierro in the George Ryder last weekend.
The other early picks for the Doncaster 2013 are then last year’s Australian Derby winner Ethiopia ($17) who hasn’t raced since breaking down in the Melbourne Cup, reigning Emirates Stakes champ Happy Trails ($21) and Grahame Begg’s top mare Secret Admirer ($21) who ran a good fourth in the Queen of the Turf.
2013 Doncaster Mile Odds
Royal Randwick – 20/04/2013
*All-In Odds are Top 10 only and subject to change – see bookmaker.com.au for updates and to bet now!