Leading form expert Daniel O’Sullivan has Kermadec on top of his 2015 Doncaster Mile tips, but is happy to back both Royal Descent and Hooked if his leading selection does not earn a start in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Royal Descent has not recorded a race win since she scored a dominant victory in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), but she has been a consistent performer at the highest level of racing and finished a gallant second behind Sacred Falls in the race last year.
The Redoute’s Choice mare performed well without winning in both the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 and the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 and O’Sullivan told RSN that the consistent mare has plenty of factors in her favor heading into the Doncaster Mile.
“Royal Descent comes in just beautifully set up for this race,” O’Sullivan said.
“Her first two runs have been good, especially in the George Ryder, and Chris Waller is a master at getting horses to improve as they get into their preparation.
“She has tremendous scope to go ahead from that last start rating to some figures from last preparation that can certainly win this race.
“We know that she is very effective in the wet and we know that the 1600 will be no problem for her.”
Hooked is currently available at 2015 Doncaster Mile odds of $21 and O’Sullivan believes that the talented entire represents the best value in the betting market for the time-honored race.
O’Sullivan believes that Hooked’s performances in both the Canterbury Stakes and the George Ryder Stakes are better than they looked on paper and he added that the Casino Prince entire’s tough third behind Criterion in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) last year indicates that he will be able to handle the wet surface at Royal Randwick on Saturday in what is expected to be a strongly run Doncaster Mile.
“The horse I think is the best value in the race is Hooked,” O’Sullivan said.
“He comes into this race third-up and his first two runs have been very good.
“He is another horse to come out of the Ryder, so I think that is definitely the form line for the Doncaster.
“He certainly ticks the box of wet-tracker and stamina to handle this tough Randwick mile and from this barrier he is just going to come across, sit behind the lead and be in an ideal position to go to the lead at the top of the rise.”
Hallowed Crown remains on top of 2015 Doncaster Mile betting markets at a quote of $5.50 from second emergency Kermadec ($6.50), George Ryder Stakes winner Real Impact ($7), Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet ($8) and Royal Descent ($10).