My favourite race at Royal Randwick is the Doncaster Mile. Great track, perfect course, big field; it’s got it all. I don’t subscribe to the popular theory that handicaps are somehow inferior to Weight For Age races. Aussies love a handicap, and how is the entertainment value any lower because the runners are weighted in a different way?
The Royal Randwick 1600m course is the best in the world that I have seen. It gives every horse a chance to find a good spot in running. Barriers positions mean little unless you know what the pace will be like.
This year’s Doncaster Mile is a really tough one. It’s hard to find a horse that you can be sure will perform. Sacred Falls ($17 TAB Fixed Odds), winner of the last 2 runnings is shooting for third win and no horse has ever done that. He carried 53kg in 2013 and 56.5kg in 2014; on Saturday he has to carry 58kg. It’s a big weight. Only Super Impose has carried more weight to win in the modern era, and Sunline carried the same weight in 2002. Is Sacred Falls as good as them – I doubt it. Rain is his only hope. He’s a mud-lark and if it gets soft, anything could happen.
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The three-year-olds look to have a good chance this year. Three-year-olds have done it 30 times; the last was Sacred Falls in 2013, and before him Haradasun in 2007. Kermadec ($7) is a big chance, albeit that he has also accepted in the Carbine Club Stakes on Saturday as well. Whichever he runs in – he’s a winning chance. His Doncaster Mile jockey Glen Boss has the best Doncaster Mile record in history – 5 wins. Kermadec has been going beautifully this autumn without winning. I think tomorrow will be his day.
Pornichet ($7.50) and Hallowed Crown ($4.60) are also firing at the right time. I think the 1600m will suit Hallowed Crown better than his last run at 2000m, but I think he is weighted a little harshly compared to some older horses below him in the weights. I think Pornichet will be powering home after looking great at 2000m last start when he dominated a fair field.
Check the full TAB.COM.AU Fixed Odds market for the Doncaster Mile here.
If the rain comes, then this race could turn into a lottery. Hallowed Crown loves it, but Kermadec is a complete unknown in the wet ground. Pornichet probably gets through it well. A wet track will bring in a handful of other runners including Sacred Falls.
The Derby, T.J.Smith Stks, and Sires’ Produce Stks round out a stellar day for racing in Sydney. I hope the rain holds off, but it is Royal Randwick – and Easter, and that combo can bring a monsoon.
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I'm tipping Kermadec ahead of Pornichet and Hallowed Crown.