Gai Waterhouse’s reigning champ Excess Knowledge is back to defend his title and salute for the punters as the early favourite for the Doncaster Prelude 2016 at Rosehill Gardens this weekend in Sydney.
Twelve months ago the Monsun stallion took out the $150,000 Group 3 Hyland Race Colours Doncaster Prelude (1500m), a race that rounds out The BMW Day card on Saturday running as Rosehill Race 9 at 5:50pm (AEDT).
The now six-year-old went out for a spell after that ahead of a strong spring champing in Melbourne that included crossing only three lengths off the winner in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) four seventh in the world’s richest handicap.
This Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Excess Knowledge return on March 12 to run a close second to It’s Somewhat in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill, and he goes up a half-kilo to 58.5kg carrying top weight for the Doncaster Prelude second-up.
He is drawn the rails in barrier one with Kerrin McEvoy continuing his association on the horse heading Doncaster Prelude betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at a quote of $3.80.
All going well and Excess Knowledge could back-up on the seven day turnaround in Saturday week’s $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick, a race he pays $17 in futures to win.
Four other runners are also under $10 in the Doncaster Prelude odds this season including two at $8 with Amovatio and Dances On Stars.
Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller saddles-up an imposing seven runners in this year’s Doncaster Prelude field, the widely-drawn Amovatio the best fancied of his contingent.
The Al Maher five-year-old is drawn in barrier 17, coming into gate 15 of 16 once the emergencies come out.
He comes off a third in the rescheduled Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1350m) last weekend at the track so needs to back-up, but drops a half-kilo to 56kg.
Waller’s other runners are roughie hopes Moriarty ($81), Hawkspur ($61), Index Linked ($71) and Magicool ($41), along with the better fancied Beaten Up ($12) and Sadler’s Lake ($9).
Of those the only one not resuming on Saturday is Sadler’s Lake drawn the outside alley for jockey Blake Shinn to overcome, the progressive High Chaparral four-year-old second-up off a fourth in the Newcastle Newmarket Handicap on Golden Slipper Day.
Beaten Up is drawn better in gate five for his hoop Hugh Bowman, the former Doomben Cup winner after his first win since his 2013 success in that Brisbane Group 1.
He has performed well in plenty of other elite level races since however including his 2015 The BMW third on this day 12 months ago, and his second to Magic Hurricane in the Spring’s The Metropolitan over the mile and a half at Randwick.
Dances On Stars meanwhile is prepared by local trainer Gerald Ryan, the Snitzel six-year-old coming off back-to-back thirds including in the Ajax Stakes two weeks ago.
The other single-figure hope for the card closer at Rosehill on Saturday is Rudy ($9.50), Helen Page’s Gold Coast-trained galloper coming off a first-up sixth in the Ajax and after his first top three finish at his fourth run at the track.
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