Lightly raced Ajax Stakes winner Messene has retained their spot at the top of the 2014 Doncaster Mile odds for Saturday following yesterday’s release of the final field and barrier draw for the weekend’s $3 million feature.
The Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) drew a capacity field of acceptors, three of which are currently under double figures in the latest Doncaster Mile odds.
Heading the markets at $4 is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Lonhro gelding Messene lining up for just their 13th career start here.
The five-year-old is undefeated this time in, a Listed National Sprint win first-up at Canberra followed by their eye-catching performance in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22.
In the Ajax they sat just off the pacemaker before surging home out wide in a top performance to score a three length win over Weary.
The Chris Waller-trained Weary franked the Ajax Stakes form last Saturday then with their Group 3 Doncaster Prelude win in the wet.
While this is a notable class rise for Messene whose Group debut was in the Ajax, the bookies are rating them to improve again and take home the top prize on Saturday despite their wide barrier 18 draw.
Messene will come in two to 16 if the two Doncaster emergencies fail to gain a run, a gate that hasn’t produced a winner since Catalan Opening in 1998.
Second pick in Doncaster Mile betting is then last weekend’s aforementioned Prelude winner Weary out to turn the tables on Messene after their second in the Ajax.
Imported Astronomer Royal four-year-old Weary has had just the three runs down under but is definitely on the up-and-up as proved by their win on Slipper Day.
Saturday will be their first look at a Group 1 field but if the wet weather in Sydney sees another Slow – Heavy track then punters can rest assured this horse can handle it.
Weary is one of six horses in this year’s Doncaster Mile field for last year’s winning trainer Waller who won 12 months ago with Sacred Falls in the wet.
Sacred Falls is this year rated a $12 chance to go back-to-back and hand her triple trainer’s premiership winning horseman with his fourth Doncaster win since 2008.
Last year the O’reilly stallion won the Doncaster carrying just 53kg from barrier 4 (of 18).
This year they have a tougher assignment going up to 56.5kg and drawing out wide in 14.
It is another of Waller’s 2014 Doncaster contingent sitting on the third line of betting meanwhile with Hawkspur at $9.50 to win.
Drawn in gate eight with Jim Cassidy, who last won the race aboard the Joe Pride-trained Vision And Power in 2009, Purrealist four-year-old Hawkspur is after their first victory since September last year.
They’ve been thereabouts this time in, most recently settling last before moving up to run fourth behind subsequent The BMW champion Silent Achiever in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on March 22 – the mile to suit them better here.
Other notable Doncaster Mile hopes then include smart George Ryder Stakes third placed three-year-old El Roca ($13), known wet track and miler performer Toydini ($14), Waller’s reigning Australian Oaks winner Royal Descent ($14) and his Chipping Norton Stakes winning stable mate Boban ($16).
Also under $20 in the markets are then the Kris Lees-trained import Slow Pace ($18) drawn out in the car park for their second run down under and Peter Moody’s Randwick Guineas winning Sebring colt Dissident ($19); 15 Doncaster Mile winners jumping at double figures since 1983.
See below for the full Doncaster Mile 2014 odds, prices you can lock in now online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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