Jockey Glen Boss has revealed that he plans to take up a forward position on El Roca in the 2014 Doncaster Mile field at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
El Roca has had no luck with barrier draws during his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign and that continued last night when trainer Trent Busuttin selected barrier 17 for his star galloper; with the leading New Zealand trainer clearly unhappy to have received another wide draw.
The Fastnet Rock colt took up a forward position in both the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), after drawing outside barriers, and Boss told TVN this morning that he is not worried about the outside gate and intends to push forward on the three-year-old in the Doncaster Mile this weekend.
“Barriers aren’t a massive disadvantage in this race, especially with horses with a light weight that can go forward,” Boss said.
“I don’t think it is that bad for us.
“On face value there doesn’t look like there is massive amount of speed.
“There is not a designated leader who you know will just burn along in front and there are no real fast horses in the race.”
El Roca started his autumn preparation with a win in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15, but has since been narrowly denied victories in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m), Royal Randwick Guineas and George Ryder Stakes.
Boss said that he has been most impressed with El Roca throughout his campaign and revealed that he actively chased the ride of the talented colt after he was narrowly denied a maiden Group 1 victory by Dissident in the Royal Randwick Guineas.
“He was the one going forward that I thought would be a big chance in the Doncaster,” Boss said.
“He fit the profile and he has come out and run good at weight for age since.”
While Boss is confident that the 2014 Doncaster Mile barrier draw has not hurt the winning chances of El Roca, bookmakers disagree and the three-year-old has been pushed out to odds of $13 after being available at $8 before the barrier draw.
Team Hawkes-trained Messene ($4.20) remains a clear favourite in 2014 Doncaster Mile betting markets, but imported galloper Weary ($7.50), Chris Waller-trained Hawkspur ($9.50), last year’s winner Sacred Falls ($12) and Guy Walter-trained Toydini ($12) have all been well-backed in the past 24 hours.