Guy Walter made it a double on Australian Derby Day at Randwick this afternoon with his veteran mare Skyerush posting her second win this prep in the 2013 Doncaster Prelude ahead of a title defense in the Emancipation Stakes on Sydney Cup Day Saturday week.
Despite earning a ballot exemption for one of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival majors, the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) next weekend, Walter confirmed his Super Jet seven-year-old Skyerush would not be backing up in the classic.
Instead the super consistent mare will be saved for the $175,000 Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1600m) on April 27, a race she won 12 months ago.
Showing her affinity once again for the Randwick track today Skyerush put in a gutsy effort to improve on a last start 12th to Havana Rey in the Ajax Stakes to post her 10th career win at start number 43 in the $125,000 Group 3 BMW Doncaster Prelude (1600m).
Ridden by Blake Shinn who earlier saluted on Walter’s Carbine Club Stakes winner Toydini, Skyerush was best into stride in the Doncaster Prelude and settled nicely just off the early leader Havana Rey.
On the home straight Paul Murray’s Apollo Stakes winner Alma’s Fury started to make a serious play for the front tracking up nicely.
Skyerush meanwhile strode up hard on the outside to hit the front with 200m to go.
Alma’s Fury kicked on strongly and stayed right on her tail but Skyerush was able to just cling on for a narrow victory over the gallant runner-up while Bart Cummings’ German import Illo, racing first-up for the first time since a failed spring campaign in Melbourne last year, crossing a good third.
“The second horse home…was a pretty hard horse to get past,” Shinn admitted.
“I knew I’d be in for the fight but my horse is up to the class.
“She’s such a nice mare.
“Just great to get another win on board.
“Australian Derby Day and Black Caviar’s here and a double for the stable it’s just great.”
Part of the scenery at Walter’s Sydney stables having been with him since her juvenile preparation back in 2009, Skyerush is likely in her final season and her trainer was thrilled to secure another black type with her.
“She’s a lovely mare I thought today in this company with a fair bit of weight I thought she had a tough task but she’s a great little mare, she loves to win and she toughed it out really well,” he said.
While it was a nice win it wasn’t enough to sway Walter into changing plans and running her up against Gai Waterhouse’s star colt Pierro in the Doncaster with an Emancipation title defense the focus.
“No she’ snot running in the Doncaster,” he confirmed.
“She’ll be back here for the Emancipation, that’s always been her aim.
“I think she’s got it with set weights and penalties.
“She’s going to be very hard to beat.
“She won the race last year and I think she can do it again.”
2013 BMW Doncaster Prelude Results & Finishing Order
Royal Randwick Race 6 – 13/04/2013
|1||3||SKYERUSH||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||–||5||58kg||$17|
|2||5||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||Hugh Bowman||0.2L||9||57kg||$8.50|
|3||11||ILLO (GER)||Chris Waller||Michael Rodd||1.5L||7||55kg||$41|
|4||9||RASPBERRIES||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||1.6L||11||55kg||$6.50EF|
|5||12||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||2.1L||15||55kg||$9|
|6||8||STOUT HEARTED (USA)||Chris Waller||Nathan Berry||2.6L||4||55.5kg||$41|
|6||16||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2.6L||6||54kg||$17|
|8||2||CLASS IS CLASS (IRE)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||3.2L||12||58.5kg||$31|
|9||13||MAHISARA||Paul Messara||Craig Williams||3.4L||10||54kg||$6.50EF|
|10||17||JACQUINOT BAY||Guy Walter||Jeff Penza||4.2L||8||54kg||$18|
|11||10||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||4.3L||14||55kg||$7|
|12||15||MAULES CREEK||John P Thompson||Jim Cassidy||4.4L||17||54kg||$31|
|13||6||ALL LEGAL||Kevin Moses||Glyn Schofield||4.8L||3||56kg||$51|
|14||18||LESS IS MORE (FR)||David Vandyke||Peter Robl||4.9L||2||54kg||$21|
|15||4||HAVANA REY||Bjorn Baker||Brenton Avdulla||6.9L||16||58kg||$7|
|16||1||VOILA ICI (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||9.1L||1||59kg||$61|
|17||14||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jay Ford||12.7L||13||54kg||$20|
|–||7||NIBLICK||Brett Cavanough||James McDonald||–||0||–||–|