Champion jockey Damien Oliver believes the 1600m of the Doncaster Mile at Randwick on Saturday is the preferred distance for the Godolphin English import Bow Creek.
While Oliver won’t be aboard Bow Creek in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) on the first day of ‘The Championships’, the top Melbourne jockey did ride the five year old to a stunning victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 27.
After clearly missing the start, Oliver was to save plenty of ground along the inside to score a one and half lengths win over the Lee and Shannon Hope trained Fenway.
Oliver then rode Bow Creek in a slowly run Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 12 when eighth to Preferment but the Shamardal stallion will be ridden by Godolphin’s number one Australian jockey James McDonald in the Doncaster Mile.
But Oliver did tell trainer John O’Shea that he thought Bow Creek would be a better miler than a 2000m horse and O’Shea is expecting a bold showing this weekend going on his Peter Young Stakes win.
“I thought his Caulfield win was outstanding,” O’Shea said.
“Damien Oliver rode him that day and he thought he’d probably be a better miler than a 2000m horse, not that he didn’t get it in the Australian Cup. It was the slow pace that beat him there.”
“I’ve had a huge opinion of him since the first time I saw him in quarantine last spring.”
“He’s run up to his that opinion since.”
Bow Creek began his racing career in England and Ireland and was a two times Group 2 winner before coming to Australia with victories in the £100,000 Celebration Mile (1 mile) at Goodwood and in the €200,000 Boomerang Mile (1 mile) at Leopardstown in 2014, but is yet to salute at Group 1 level.
Bow Creek has been marked at $13 for the Doncaster Mile at Ladbokes.com.au and will be taking on Chris Waller’s glamour mare Winx who has been installed the $1.85 favourite.
Winx is chasing her ninth win on the trot with four of her last five victories at Group 1 level, including the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Doncaster Mile is Winx’s first run under handicap conditions since winning the 2015 Group 1 $1m The Star 150th Epsom (1600m) at Randwick with her last four wins all being at weight for age, including the Cox Plate, and her three Autumn Carnival wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Optus Business Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 $600,000 Precise Air Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and the Group 1 $1m China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
McDonald is full of confidence about the chances of Bow Creek and is giving him a chance of beating Winx under the handicap conditions in the Doncaster Mile.
“He is a freaky horse that on his day, if things go his way, he could do anything. He would be the one out of all our Godolphin horses to be able to upset Winx,” McDonald said.
Doncaster Mile market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.85 Winx, $7.50 Kermadec, $12 Happy Clapper, Azkadellia, $13 Bow Creek, $17 First Seal, $19 Turn Me Loose, $26 Volkstok’N’Barrell, Good Project, He Or She, $51 Stratum Star, $61 Ecuador, Rudy, $101 Vergara, $201 Aomen.