The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
It is shaping up as a class edition of the Doncaster Mile 2018 at Royal Randwick on Saturday and in a surprise early move from the punters there has been money flowing in for the in-form Mark Newnham-trained Lanciato.
Due to run as the penultimate event on a 10 race card for Day 1 of ‘The Championships’, the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) jumps at 4:30pm (AEST) and features 16 hopeful milers.
The latest Doncaster Mile betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au feature four single-figure fancies, but it is Per Incanto five-year-old Lanciato that the early money is on.
The gelding chases a fourth win on the trot from a wide barrier 13 of 16 draw on the weekend and after opening at Doncaster Mile odds of $26, has firmed into $18.
Apprentice Rachel King continues her association with the horse in the Group 1 after riding him to victory in all three wins this year, the latest of which was a first-up success in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m).
Lanciato was penalised a kilo for that win, but is still well-weighted on the weekend with 51kg.
The Doncaster Mile is an obvious rise in class for the Kiwi expat and he races over the 1600m for the first time since winning over the distance back across the Tasman in April of 2016.
Still the horse to beat sitting top of the Doncaster Mile markets at a stead $3.50 is the James Cummings-trained Kementari.
Out to be the second favourite in three years to salute after the success of Winx in 2016, the Lonhro colt won three straight Sydney races including the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) to kick off his autumn.
He returns to the track and distance of that Group 1 success in the Doncaster Mile on the back of a brave third to Winx in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on March 24, a race that has produced three of the past four Doncaster Mile winners.
Also coming off a top three run behind the world’s best mare in the George Ryder is the Pat Webster-trained runner-up Happy Clapper.
Drawn barrier one in the Doncaster Mile field, the Teofilo seven-year-old has finished second in the past two editions of the race and is out to go one better despite the presence of the gun three-year-old in Saturday’s race.
Kementari drops from 56kg to 51.5kg for the rematch and jumps from barrier two with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle, while Happy Clapper comes down from 59kg at WFA to 57kg this weekend.
Blake Shinn rides the evergreen veteran again, Happy Clapper having his seventh start at the Randwick mile (6:2-3-0) and paying $5 as the second favourite to salute.
Rounding out the Doncaster Mile horses under $10 for the win are the two gallopers found at opposite ends of the weight scale, Humidor (58kg) at $8 and D’Argento (49kg) just shorter at $7.
Darren Weir saddles-up the top weight Humidor from a good gate four draw, the five-year-old in Sydney for the first time since his Group 1 The BMW (2400m) second at Rosehill 12 months ago.
His lead-up into Saturday’s classic was a Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) win at Flemington on March 17 and if successful Humidor will be the first Doncaster Mile champion to carry more than 57.5kg to victory since Sunline (58kg in 2002) for her second.
D’Argento meanwhile will be flying on just 49kg from his wide barrier 15 draw, dual Melbourne Cup winning hoop Corey Brown booked for the ride on Chris Waller’s So You Think colt.
The up-and-coming grey was three and a half-lengths off Kementari two back in the Randwick Guineas from out wide (14 of 14) before his lead-up win on Slipper Day in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
Check out the latest Doncaster Mile 2018 odds and betting markets now at Ladbrokes.com.au and stay tuned for our insider tips and comprehensive race form guide.
2018 Doncaster Mile Odds
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