The two-time Group 1 mile winner may have been taking scalps without any great recognition and flying under the radar, but he comes in here well and truly under notice as a dominant favourite. While favourites don’t have the greatest of records in the Doncaster, his form this prep cannot be faulted. From 3 starts this time in he has two wins, one of those in the G1 Canterbury Stakes where he defeated Chautauqua and Hauraki. His only other start was a 2nd to the wonder mare Winx in his final lead-up in the George Ryder Stakes. The 4YO likes to settle close to the pace which should be ideal from his gate and in the big field. Hugh Bowman re-unites with the gelding as he searches to secure successive Doncaster Mile’s. Bowman’s record on Le Romain is 5:3-0-1 including the G1 Cantala Stakes.
The 3YO gelding has been dealt a horror draw as he looks to secure the biggest payday of his career, yet trainer Tony McEvoy can rest with the knowledge that outside gates have a strong record in the Doncaster Mile. Strangely there were many analysts suggesting that Hey Doc couldn’t run a strong mile leading in to the Australian Guineas, yet prior to that start he had won the G2 Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley and been close up in both the G1 Caulfield Guineas and the G3 Carbine Club all at the mile. Following a dominant win in the G3 CS Hayes Stakes at 1400m he started favourite in the Guineas when closing out strongly to take the prize in great fashion. He drops to 52kg, the lightest he has ever carried under race conditions and former Doncaster winning rider Tim Clark is up for the 3YO’s first race the Sydney right-handed direction.
3YO filly I Am A Star has had 4 starts this prep and as she has stepped out in distance has started to come into her strengths. The Shane Nichols trained filly is on the one week back-up after scoring a dominant victory at Moonee Valley last start. Taking on the G2 Sunline Stakes, she was ridden forward from gate 8 and was able to secure the lead and then controlled the tempo under a superb Dean Yendall ride where he kicked away at the right moment and was never worried in a 3.25 length victory. That win followed a 1400m win in the G2 Kewney Stakes with 55.5kg under the conditions and she will drop to 25kg under the handicap scale for the Doncaster. The Sunline win was the filly’s second win at the mile, adding to her G1 triumph in the Myer Classic when Yendall rode the filly at 49kg.
Happy Clapper returned to his best last start when successful in the Newcastle Newmarket at 1400. The Pat Webster trained 6YO was second-up for the prep following his return over 1400m at Canberra where he lumped 60.5kg from the widest gate to hold 2nd behind Gold Symphony in the National Sprint. Webster has set the gelding on a different campaign path to that of 2016 that saw him finish 2nd in the Doncaster to Winx. Although setting different targets last season, he once again lines up in the famous Randwick Mile third-up, the same point as last year. After runs in the G1 Canterbury Stakes and the G1 George Ryder Stakes he worked home from the middle of the pack to finish best of the chasers in getting within two lengths of Winx when carrying 50.5kg. He rises to 55.5kg following a 1kg penalty for his Newcastle victory, with Blake Shinn to ride.
A race with a long tradition, the Doncaster Handicap or Doncaster Mile as it is sometimes referred to, is one of the most prestigious mile (1600m) races on the Australian turf calendar. With the ATC revamping its Autumn Carnival, the race is now held on day 1 of The Championships. This re-vamp has seen the Doncaster become the richest 1 mile race in the world, and in 2017 the race will carry total stakes of $3m with the winner set to pocket $1.8m.
Conditions of the race are 3YO and older handicap with a field limit of 20 runners. As an added incentive for horses to compete at Randwick the winners of the 2016 Flight Stakes, 2016 Villiers Stakes, 2017 Chipping Norton Stakes, 2017 Randwick Guineas, 2017 Canterbury Stakes, 2017 Coolmore Classic and 2017 George Ryder Stakes all receiving exemption from the ballot.
The 2016 winner was the mighty Winx, trained by Chris Waller and ridden by Hugh Bowman. Other past winners include some of the greats of Australian turf including Sunline, Super Impose, Emancipation, Gunsynd, Tobin Bronze and Wakeful.
The Doncaster Mile forms a part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|Doncaster Mile Guide|
|Date:||Saturday 2nd April 2017|
|Race Time:||16:10 AEST|
|Race Type:||Weight For Age 3YO & Upwards|
|2017 Doncaster Mile Odds|
The Doncaster Handicap, or the Doncaster Mile, is a Group 1 race that is held on the richest day on the Australian Racing Calendar, The Championships Day 1. Hosted by the Royal Randwick Racecourse, it covers a distance of 1600m and is the world’s richest mile, with prize money of $3 million. An Open Handicap, it is raced alongside other prominent races, such as the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes and the Group 1 ATC Australian Derby. Dating back to 1866, the Doncaster was traditionally held on Easter Monday, but recently it was moved to the first day of the ATC Championship Carnival. The 1882 edition attracted a record 30 starters. Many great horses have won the Handicap over the years but Super Impose (1990 & 1991) is the only horse to have saluted twice in the Doncaster and its spring equivalent, the Epsom Handicap in the same years.
Other multiple Doncaster winners include; Sacred Falls (2013 & 2014), Sunline (1999 & 2002), Pharaoh (1994 & 1995), Tudor Hill (1959 & 1960), Fine And Dany (1961 & 1963), Slogan II (1956 & 1957), Blue Legend (1946 & 1947) and Mildura (1940 & 1941). Other notable winners of this turf classic are Wakeful (1901), Chatham (1934), Tobin Bronze (1967), Gunsynd (1972), Maybe Mahal (1978), Belmura Lad (1979), Emancipation (1983), Grand Armee (2003), Haradasun (2007) and More Joyous (2012).
|2016||WINX||HUGH BOWMAN||CHRIS WALLER||01:35.2|
|2015||KERMADEC||GLEN BOSS||CHRIS WALLER||01:37.6|
|2014||SACRED FALLS||ZAC PURTON||CHRIS WALLER||01:39.5|
|2013||SACRED FALLS||TOMMY BERRY||CHRIS WALLER||01:37.9|
|2012||MORE JOYOUS||NASH RAWILLER||GAI WATERHOUSE||01:35.5|
|2011||SACRED CHOICE||TIM CLARK||JOE PRIDE||01:39.4|
|2010||RANGIRANGDOO||NASH RAWILLER||CHRIS WALLER||01:34.2|
|2009||VISION AND POWER||JIM CASSIDY||JOE PRIDE||01:36.6|
|2008||TRIPLE HONOUR||GLEN BOSS||CHRIS WALLER||01:38.5|
|2007||HARADASUN||GLEN BOSS||TONY VASIL||01:38.0|
|2006||RACING TO WIN||GLEN BOSS||JOHN O’SHEA||01:34.1|