The 2017 Doncaster Mile Form Guide is essential reading for punters and racing fans ahead of the feature race on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Doncaster Mile has drawn a capacity and talented field of twenty milers, plus emergencies in 2017 and we have analysed every horse in detail to help you find the Doncaster Mile winner.
Le Romain remains a firm favourite to win the 2017 Doncaster Mile, but faces a big task in overcoming the likes of Hauraki, Redkirk Warrior and I Am A Star in the feature race.
A Randwick mile specialist, Hauraki stormed home to post his only Group 1 win to date in the Epsom Handicap in October and is primed for a big performance on Saturday. Resuming this time for third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), the Reset gelding was last seen working home to finish fourth behind Winx in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) a fortnight ago. Hauraki has been charged with topweight in the Doncaster Mile, but will be partnered by talented hoop James Doyle.
Le Romain has returned to racing in career-best form this time and is a justifiable favourite to win the Doncaster Mile. Winner of both the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) most notably in 2016, the son of Hard Spun posted a gutsy first-up win in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) this time, before winning the Canterbury Stakes and finishing second in the George Ryder Stakes. With the notable advantage of Hugh Bowman in the saddle, Le Romain will leave from an ideal draw in barrier 8.
A two-time Group 1 winner at the distance of the Doncaster Mile, Palentino will jump from barrier 3, will be partnered by in-form jockey Mark Zahra and at the time of publish, has received the greatest share of bets to win the feature race on Day 1 of The Championships. Taking a few runs to find form this time, the Teofilo entire finished sixth in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on February 25th, but savanged the line to take out the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington a fortnight ago.
Japanese import Tosen Stardom has been a strong and consistent performer through his short time under Darren Weir’s care, but has drawn wide into the Doncaster Mile field and is a query under heavy racing conditions. Despite having finished second in both the Futurity Stakes and the Blamey Stakes this time, Weir revealed that he is likely to scratch the horse from running this weekend.
Runner up to Winx in the 2016 edition of the Doncaster Mile, Happy Clapper has somewhat flown under the radar this time in, but is a live chance of a maiden Group 1 crown third-up on Saturday. Resuming for a smart second in the Listed National Sprint (1400m) on March 5th, the son of Teofilo was last seen delivering a smart field a resounding defeat in the Group 3 Newcaslte Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 17th.
The second of three Godolphin entries into the Doncaster Mile field, It’s Somewhat appears to have returned to racing in typically competitive form, but the horse has always seemed to go missing in Group 1 races and it is tough to see how he fits into this field. The Dynaformer gelding did return to racing for a smart win in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) on March 11th and will be partnered by Zac Purton in the Doncaster.
Ecuador has posted a number of smart results this time in, but his last start performance in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) suggests that his preparation may have tailed off. Winner of the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) on January 24th, Ecuador placed third in each of the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and the Futurity Stakes leading into his Australian Cup flop. Perhaps he will relish a step back in distance, but there is probably too much depth in this Doncaster Mile field for Ecuador to finish in the top three.
Arod has been extremely inconsistent throughout his time in Australia, but he is more than capable on his day and is probably over the odds at a current $81 quote. Once one of the strongest milers in Europe, Arod has finished third in each of the Group 3 L’Oreal Paris Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) since arriving in Chris Waller’s care, but has also placed twelfth in the CF Orr Stakes and tenth in the Ajax Stakes.
Consistent battler Dibayani is unlucky not to have posted a maiden win at the highest level and is another horse who is arguably over the Doncaster Mile odds at a current $41 quote. An agonizingly-close runner-up to Hauraki in the Epsom Handicap during his spring campaign, the Shamardal gelding placed fourth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) first-up, but could only managed ninth in the Ajax Stakes last time out.
Redkirk Warrior broke a 100 year drought of horses to win the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up when he returned to racing this year and should prove extremely tough to beat in the Doncaster Mile. The Notnowcato gelding was all but retired from racing after suffering a string of hoof issues during his racing tenure in Hong Kong, but has found excellent condition since arriving in Australia. In-form hoop Regan Bayliss retains the ride on Redkirk Warrior in the Doncaster Mile.
McCreery is a proven performer at the track, distance and class of the Doncaster Mile, but he arguably didn’t handle the heavy going when he faded late to finish fifth in the George Ryder Stakes last time out. Having returned to the paddock after finishing second to Le Romain in the Cantala Stakes, McCreery resumed for a smart win in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m), in what was his only other start prior to the George Ryder Stakes this time in.
Endless Drama has produced several smart efforts this time in and has reportedly relished his time between runs since he finished sixth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) last time out on February 25th. He probably cannot win the race, but his class and proven ability suggests that a top five finish is not without a good chance of materialising in the Doncaster Mile.
Sense Of Occasion
Sense Of Occasion gained ballot-free entry into the Doncaster Mile when he won the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) in December, but it is tough to see how he will stack up against this smart field. The Street Sense gelding finished second to Red Excitement in the Listed Gosford Cup (2114m) on January 13th, in what was his only appearance at the races in 2017 to date.
I Am A Star
I Am A Star has found excellent condition this time in, but has surprisingly drifted to particularly healthy Doncaster Mile odds of $16 at time of publish. Becoming the first ever three-year-old to win the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) in spring, the I Am Invincible filly resumed this time for second in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) and while failing to fire and seventh in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), has since won both the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) with ease. With only 52kgs in tow, I Am A Star is a genuine chance of saluting in the Doncaster Mile.
Hey Doc has returned to racing in career-best form this time and has received a freshen-up leading into the Doncaster Mile. Winner of the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) before finishing third in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) most notably in spring, the Duporth gelding returned to the races for a credible third in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) in early February and has since won both the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Orignally set on a course towards the major staying features of the Autumn Carnival, trainer Chris Waller has instead elected to saddle Antonio Giuseppe in the Doncaster Mile after the horse faded late in both the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at his two most recent starts. The Shocking gelding is drawn ideally, will be partnered by in-form hoop Tommy Berry and is not without a chance with a light weight.
Sons Of John
Sons Of John has been the stable star for Hawkesbury trainer Jason Attard through recent seasons, but his career has arguably passed its peak and he is outclassed in the 2017 Doncaster Mile field. Third behind Winx in the 2015 edition of the Epsom Handicap most notably, the Oratorio gelding is a rank outsider on Saturday and simply will not win the Doncaster Mile.
Testashadow led from start to finish to post a career-best win in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on January 14th and has continued to post consistent results in the wake of that performance, but is another horse who will probably just not figure in the finish of the Doncaster Mile.
The final runner for Godolphin in the Doncaster Mile field, Spectroscope gained ballot-free entry into the race with a smart win in last weekend’s Prelude race and is a live chance of repeating that effort and result on Saturday. Yet to taste anything but success in Australia, the Medaglia D’Oro entire won the Schweppes BM89 (1350m) with complete ease a fortnight prior to the Doncaster Prelude. Joao Moreira will take the ride on Spectroscope, who should prove tough to beat with only 51kgs in tow.
Euro Angel is the final confirmed starter in the Doncaster Mile field and perhaps justifies her $91 quote in betting markets to win the race. The daughter of Rip Van Winkle worked to the line well for fourth in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) last weekend, but this is a big step up in class and she would have to improve out of sight to figure at the finish of the race.
The Joe Pride-trained New Tipperary has produced a number of smart performances this season and will be the first horse to gain a start in the Doncaster Mile field should something be scratched. New Tipperary ran second behind It’s Somewhat in the Ajax Stakes at his most recent start.
No Doubt finished second in the Doncaster Prelude last weekend and subsequently missed automatic qualification into Saturday’s Doncaster Mile field. The horse has been gallant through four starts this time, but will also surely be outclassed if he gains a start.
Top Of My List
Top Of My List is weighted well and drawn ideally should he gain a run in the Doncaster Mile field, and will carry improvement into the race after finishing third in the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) a fortnight ago.