The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Ben & JD Hayes-trained Mr Brightside was excellent going back-to-back in the Doncaster Mile 2023 results for the first time since Sacred Falls back in 2013-14.
The in-form Bullbars five-year-old put the writing on the wall with his lead-up Melbourne victory in the $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) at The Valley.
He franked that form with an impressive success in Sydney’s Group 1 $4 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
“Last year for Ben and I and the team at Lindsay Park, what this horse did to win it and then go back-to-back it puts him in rare air,” JD Hayes told Sky Thoroughbred Central on Saturday.
“He’s a very special horse, we’ve known it all along, but he’s now a very special horse in his own right doing something like that. Couldn’t be happier.”
Last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival the galloper carried just 50.5kg to victory in the Doncaster.
Mr Brightside was excellent returning 12 months later with 55.5kg to successfully defend his title thanks to a gun ride by jockey Zac Purton.
“He sure has, a special horse we’ll never forget him but he’s got so much to go which is exciting,” Ben Hayes said.
“He’s only turning six. We actually weren’t sure he’d won, we were holding our breath.
“What a ride by Zac (Purton) ten out of ten. Congratulations to everyone at the farm, it’s a team effort to get it done. Just so excited.”
Purton celebrated his third Doncaster Mile trophy having previously ridden the aforementioned Sacred Falls to victory for his second in 2014 and It’s Somewhat in 2017.
“Obviously the connection I have with David (Hayes – father of co-trainers Ben and JD Hayes) in Hong Kong and getting to know his boys and having a bit of a drink and a laugh about this horse in this race a few weeks back, I won’t tell you what was said,” Purton said post-victory.
“We just drew the perfect gate and had the perfect run. It’s not easy to win one Doncaster, it’s very hard to win two, especially on testing ground like this.
“All the credit has got to go to the stable.
“As soon as I come into the straight, I was traveling really well. When I gave him a squeeze he got there too quick, I had to idle him down a little bit again. He was labouring in the ground, but he’s so honest his class got him through.”
The in-form hoop had the favourite handy early before settling around seventh in the run as Gentleman Roy led the Doncaster field around.
Chris Waller’s Rosehill Guineas winning three-year-old Lindermann eventually took over up front and had the lead into the home corner.
Once on the straight Purton started to cruise up the inside aboard Mr Brightside, while the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained The All-Star Mile fifth place-getter Nugget presented as the danger flashing home down the outside with a great run.
Mr Brightside ($6F) started to really lengthen at the 200m, but had to dig deep as proven wet-tracker My Oberon ($31) for Annable Neasham burst through late to challenge on the back of his unplaced 14th in the All-Star Mile.
“He has gone huge. I thought I was the winner half way down the straight. To the winner’s credit he dug deep,” My Oberon’s jockey John Allen said.
Class eventually rose to the top however with Mr Brightside lifting to go back-to-back holding on to win the Doncaster again over My Oberon who ran out of his skin for second.
Nugget ($21) produced a massive, career-best performance to round out the Doncaster Mile trifecta in third, while Kerry Parker’s smart Dundeel mare Hope In Your Heart ($31) finished a nice fourth just out of the Group 1 minor placings.
It was a huge training performance from the Hayes’ boys whose now dual Doncaster champion showed great fight off a dream run to get the job done for the punters.
There’s a small chance the team could opt to run Mr Brightside again in seven days’ time over further at weight-for-age in the Group 1 $5 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
2023 Doncaster Mile Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben & JD Hayes||Zac Purton||2||55.5kg||$6F|
|2||4||MY OBERON (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||John Allen||0.13L||7||54kg||$31|
|3||11||NUGGET (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Andrew Gibbons||0.92L||19||51.5kg||$21|
|4||15||HOPE IN YOUR HEART||Kerry Parker||Jay Ford||1.41L||20||50.5kg||$31|
|5||14||MUSTANG VALLEY (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Robbie Dolan||1.43L||3||51kg||$20|
|6||21e||OSIPENKO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||2.04L||1||49kg (cd 50kg)||$15|
|7||5||FANGIRL||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||2.17L||17||53.5kg||$12|
|8||8||DUKE DE SESSA (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Dylan Gibbons (a)||3.4L||9||52kg||$11|
|9||16||ZOUGOTCHA||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||4.47L||13||50.5kg||$8|
|10||19||COMMUNIST||Michael Freedman||Tyler Schiller (a)||5.2L||18||49kg (cd 50kg)||$18|
|11||9||GENTLEMAN ROY||Ben & JD Hayes||Ms Rachel King||7.35L||10||52kg||$31|
|12||17||PROTAGONIST (FR)||William Haggas||Ben Thompson||8.23L||8||50kg||$12|
|13||12||BANDERSNATCH||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Taylor Marshall||8.54L||5||51kg||$13|
|14||10||LION’S ROAR (NZ)||John O’Shea||Craig Newitt||10.89L||15||52kg||$31|
|15||1||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||13.24L||12||57.5kg||$16|
|16||6||GOING GLOBAL (IRE)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||13.3L||4||53.5kg||$31|
|17||20||LINDERMANN||Chris Waller||Dean Holland||14.87L||16||49kg||$31|
|18||18||CEPHEUS (GB)||Matthew Dunn||Dean Yendall||18.44L||14||50kg||$81|
|19||7||CONVERGE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Brett Prebble||26.46L||6||52kg||$18|
|20||13||GOLDEN MILE||James Cummings||Zac Lloyd (a)||30.92L||11||51kg||$21|
|23e||DIAMIL (IRE)||John O’Shea||Reece Jones (a)||0|
|24e||PRIDE OF JENNI||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Robbie Dolan||0|
|3||KIRWAN’S LANE (NZ)||John O’Shea||Ben Melham||0|
|22e||BANKERS CHOICE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Brock Ryan||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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