This Saturday in Sydney the big race is the classic 2014 Doncaster Mile Handicap, tips and exotic selections for the Royal Randwick feature found below.
The $3 million Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) is scheduled to light up the track at 4:30pm (AEST) as the penultimate event on an all Group race, nine event line-up.
A capacity field of milers are engaged to face off in the Doncaster this year, which will likely be run on a Slow – Heavy rated track.
That means the known mudlarks are rising to the top of the Doncaster Mile odds, just three of the final acceptors at single figures to win.
Doncaster Mile betting favourite at $4.60 is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Messene having just their second Group race start.
In flying form, this improving Lonhro five-year-old put three lengths on Weary to win the Group 2 Ajax Stakes in the wet at Rosehill three weeks ago and it is that run the bookies are tipping them to produce again here.
The Chris Waller-trained Weary is then the $6 second pick and early market mover to turn the tables on their last start conqueror and come away with the Doncaster win.
If successful the Astronomer Royal four-year-old will hand Waller with his fourth Doncaster trophy since 2008, and complete the Doncaster double on the seven day turnaround having saluted in the Prelude last Saturday.
Rounding out the top three in the Doncaster Mile markets this year at $9.50 is then another of Waller’s six acceptors, Purrealist four-year-old Hawkspur looking for another Group 1 to add to their Queensland Derby triumph from last winter.
But are these three the ones to lock into your Doncaster Mile Trifecta selections for the weekend?
Or will we see an upset Doncaster Mile result from the likes of the defending champion Sacred Falls ($12) who did it in the mud 12 months ago, another of Waller’s known wet trackers Royal Descent ($12) who won by 10 lengths in the Australian Oaks here last autumn or in-form three-year-old El Roca ($12)?
#19 Weary ($19)
Waller’s had a stranglehold over this race training four winners since 2008 and think he’ll do it again going back-to-back this year with recent stable acquisition Weary. The talented French import has been steadily on the improve here, and while they have to race twice in as many weeks to win, they won running away in the Prelude over the 1500m on a Heavy (9) so will love the distance and the conditions on Saturday. Tommy Berry comes on and they are positioned perfectly (13) to handle anything the run throws at them. Are prime for this and unbeaten on Heavy-going so if the track is wet they are your pick.
#4 Sacred Falls ($12)
Another Waller-trained runner, this O’reilly four-year-old did it last year as a 3YO and think they’ll come close to becoming a dual Doncaster winner. It was run on a Heavy (10) last year and they beat super colt Pierro by a descent margin so know who to lay it down when the going is soft. They only carried 53kg however and must do it with 56.5kg this year, a tough ask, but one they won’t shy away from. Form has been good and third-up looks perfect, most recently seen carrying 59kg under WFA in the George Ryder (1500m) on a Slow (7) at Rosehill to come within one and a half lengths of Gordon Lord Byron (a top fancy for the TJ Smith Stakes on Saturday) to finish fourth.
#3 Streama ($21)
She’s drawn out wide (21 into 19) but at this price think this Guy Walter-trained mare is excellent value. Super Group 1 record, always honest, including her last start George Ryder sixth which was another tough effort from a genuine miler who’ll appreciate the extra 100m here. Dual Group 1 winner as a three-year-old in 2011-12 including the Australian Oaks over the 2400m. Was fourth in last year’s Doncaster from another wide gate (15) before her Stradbroke Handicap third and Tatt’s Tiara second in Brisbane. Loves this track and distance and was runner-up here in botht he George Main and Epsom behind fellow Doncaster hopes Royal Descent and Boban last spring. Loves the wet and is better than her form so far this prep.
To lock in our Doncaster Mile tips at the guaranteed best odds make sure you head to Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + a juicy 30% on your winnings on the entire Doncaster field!
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change