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Trainer John O’Shea enjoyed his third Doncaster Mile win in 2017 and his first for the Godolphin stable thanks to a brilliant all-the-way success by roughie hope It’s Somewhat at Royal Randwick.
O’Shea previously won the mile classic with Private Steer (2004) and Racing To Win (2006), breaking an over ten year drought this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.
“It’s special. It’s a great achievement,” O’Shea said.
“We were quietly confident he’d run in the first four all week.
“We know he’d be tough and he was.”
Dynaformer six-year-old It’s Somewhat jumped at juicy odds of around $34 thorough Ladbrokes.com.au in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) despite presenting as a fit horse off a last start Rosehill win first-up.
The gelding won the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) on March 11 and the known second-up performer relished the drop back from 59kg at weight-for-age there to just 55kg with Zac Purton in the saddle in the Doncaster.
It was an historic Doncaster Mile result as It’s Somewhat became the first to win the race directly off an Ajax Stakes run since the Gai Waterhouse-trained Grand Armee completed the same double back in 2003.
Purton rode Sacred Falls to victory for the horse’s second Doncaster Mile victory in 2014 and gave this year’s upset champ a confident ride up front.
The hoop had It’s Somewhat brilliantly rated up front, controlling the race all the way on a very fit horse who came out of the Ajax Stakes in great shape and who was weighted to win second-up with the sting out of the track.
“The plan wasn’t really to lead, but I was happy enough to let him be there and roll along,” Purton told the media post-win.
It’s a big ask to win a Doncaster Mile up front in the territory of the mighty Kiwi mare Sunline who did so back in 1999, but Purton did just that on It’s Somewhat who pinged out of his nice barrier eight draw.
Purton pushed through on the galloper to lead from Testashadow and the gun Group 1 winning Victorian filly I Am A Star.
She gave chase around the turn and into the straight, with Patrick Webster’s last start Newcastle Newmarket Handicap winner Happy Clapper also coming with his run.
With 200m to travel Happy Clapper had moved up into second on the outside of the leader, but It’s Somewhat kicked up on the inside and won.
Happy Clapper held for second again after being beaten home by Winx in the race last year, while the Doncaster Mile 2017 trifecta was rounded out by another roughie hope Sense Of Occasion in his first run since a Gosford Cup second in January.
“At the 300 [metres] I was pretty confident, he was going through his gears well and gave me a good kick,” Purton said of It’s Somewhat’s run.
“I could feel Happy Clapper coming and I was hoping the winning post would come for me before it came for him.
“It’s good to get a result like this.”
Did you back the Doncaster Mile winner It’s Somewhat at Ladbrokes.com.au? If not you may have cheated yourself out of the autumn’s best racing odds!
2017 Doncaster Mile Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 9 – 01/04/2017
|1||6||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||John O’Shea||Zac Purton||–||8||55kg||$31|
|2||5||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Blake Shinn||0.5L||2||55.5kg||$7|
|3||13||SENSE OF OCCASION||Kris Lees||Corey Brown||4L||9||52.5kg||$61|
|4||3||PALENTINO||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||4.5L||3||56.5kg||$12|
|5||1||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||James Doyle||5.3L||14||57kg||$21|
|6||11||MCCREERY (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||5.7L||15||53kg||$14|
|7||21||NEW TIPPERARY||Joseph Pride||Jay Ford||6.2L||16||51kg||$51|
|8||14||I AM A STAR (NZ)||Shane Nichols||Dean Yendall||8.1L||1||52kg||$13|
|9||15||HEY DOC||Tony McEvoy||Tim Clark||8.3L||17||52kg||$17|
|10||19||SPECTROSCOPE (USA)||John O’Shea||Joao Moreira||9.5L||20||51kg||$7.50|
|11||10||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||9.7L||13||53kg||$6|
|12||16||ANTONIO GIUSEPPE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||10L||5||52kg||$13|
|13||17||SONS OF JOHN||Jason Attard||Ms Kathy O’Hara||10.2L||4||51.5kg||$101|
|14||20||EURO ANGEL (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Andrew Adkins (a)||11.2L||10||51kg||$101|
|15||2||LE ROMAIN||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||11.8L||7||56.5kg||$4.80F|
|16||7||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||13.4L||12||55kg||$26|
|17||9||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damien Oliver||14.7L||19||54kg||$61|
|18||18||TESTASHADOW||Gary Portelli||Ms Katelyn Mallyon||17.6L||11||51kg||$61|
|19||8||AROD (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||17.9L||6||54kg||$51|
|20||12||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||24.6L||18||53kg||$31|
|–||23||TOP OF MY LIST||Anthony & Edward Cummings||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||22||NO DOUBT||Anthony & Edward Cummings||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||4||TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||–||0||–||–|
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