Nigel Blackiston’s in-form mare Suavito is set to make the 2015 Doncaster Mile field at Randwick Racecourse this weekend, her Flemington-based trainer looking forward to the handicap classic.
Who is in and who is out of this year’s $3 million Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) field will officially be revealed when the capacity 20-starter line-up is released on Tuesday morning.
Well-fancied colts Kermadec and Sweynesse may be sweating on a start sitting well down the order of entry, but Blackiston can sleep easy tonight knowing his four-year-old Thorn Park mare Suavito will make the cut.
A winner of seven of her 17 career starts to date she has won all four of her most recent runs going back to Cox Plate Day last October and pays $15 in the latest pre-field Doncaster Mile odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Looking to become the first mare since More Joyous (2012) to beat the boys in the 1600m feature, Suavito has had two runs this time in back home in Victoria.
The first was her upset win in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield followed by the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 14.
She’s had the one previous run at Randwick in last year’s Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) when sixth to Rising Romance, so needs to handle the Sydney way of going on Saturday.
The mare, who Blackiston has had targeting the Doncaster Mile all season, certainly looks a light weight chance against a field of stars and will get in on the 50kg minimum.
“With that sort of weight you’ve got to take your chance in a race like this,” Blackiston told News Limited this week.
“It won’t be easy to win. It’s a race that throws up one of the toughest fields and you don’t need any bad luck in running.”
The all-important Doncaster Mile barrier draw takes place tomorrow and Blackiston will be hoping for a nice starting gate for Suavito as she prepares to take on the likes of Japan’s George Ryder Stakes winner Real Love and the Bart & James Cummings-trained Golden Rose – Randwick Guineas double winner Hallowed Crown.
Suavito’s regular rider Damien Oliver won’t be aboard the mare in the Doncaster Mile on Saturday however, the hoop unable to make the weight, so Blackiston has booked Corey Brown for the ride.
Brown flies in from Singapore for the ride, which will be his 15th ride in the Doncaster Mile with the hoop chasing his maiden top three finish.
Other confirmed Doncaster Mile jockeys include Kerrin McEvoy and Kathy O’Hara who will ride the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet and Plucky Belle respectively.
Waterhouse has trained seven previous Doncaster Mile winners and has three lining up as she chases an incredible eighth victory this weekend.
Tulloch Lodge will be represented by last year’s Queen Of The Turf Stakes champ Diamond Drille after her first win in 12 months, recent Group 1 Canterbury Stakes champ Cosmic Endeavour and McEvoy’s gun mount Pornichet.
The French import is one of the top fancies in Doncaster Mile betting securing a start in the classic after a win in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday when ridden by Blake Shinn.
Plucky Belle meanwhile is another last start winner but while Pornichet is equal $8 second pick to win, she is at a juicy $26.
The Peter Moody-trained Mossman mare took out the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) with Linda Meech on the saddle on March 14, O’Hara picking up the ride on the in-form six-year-old who carries just 50.5kg.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the Doncaster Mile this week, and don’t forget this is your last chance to back your favourites at their all-in prices at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of tomorrow’s final acceptances!