Top Doncaster Mile fancies Kermadec and Pornichet are both on the borderline of making the final field of twenty when acceptances are taken on Tuesday for the $3m Randwick feature on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
Kermadec is the highest rated of Chris Waller’s four runners for the Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile over 1600m is on the third line of betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $8, just ahead of the Gai Waterhouse trained Pornichet at $9.50.
Japanese galloper Real Impact was installed as the Doncaster Mile favourite at $6 after winning the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 21 while the Bart and James Cummings trained three year old Hallowed Crown is the second pick at $6.50.
Waller’s other Doncaster Mile runners are likely to be Royal Descent ($10), Sacred Falls ($26), who has won the last two runnings of the feature mile, and I’m Imposing ($71) while Waterhouse could also have Cosmic Endeavour ($21) and Diamond Drille ($31).
Kermadec has been racing in great style with no luck with most punters saying that the Teofilo colt should have won the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7 after being held up for a run in the straight before finishing fourth to Wandjina.
Then in the George Ryder Stakes he bungled the start before running home for third behind Real Impact and Criterion.
Most observers have Kermadec, on 50kg, struggling to the make the final Doncaster Mile field and have him as an emergency at best.
“He probably should have a Group 1 next to his name by now,’’ Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
“Hopefully, he will get his chance in the Doncaster.’’
Pornichet on 51kg, could just sneak into the final field and Waterhouse was excited to add him to her Doncaster Mile runners and said he would definitely back up after scoring an impressive win in the Group 3 $150,000 The Sunday Telegraph Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Waller knows he is setting Sacred Falls a huge task and as well as having to carry 58kg, he will be trying to be the first horse to win the Doncaster Mile on three occasions after taking the honours in 2013 and 2014.
“It will be tough for Sacred Falls but he deserves his chance,’’ Waller said.
“The easy decision would have been to retire Sacred Falls after he won last year but his owners, Waikato Stud and Raffles Racing, are sportsmen, they’re not worried about the price tag and feel they owe it to racing to give the horse his chance to win three Doncasters.’’
Waller has given Sacred Falls two lead up runs for a fifth to Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 7 followed by a twelfth in the George Ryder Stakes.
Sacred Falls has shown in the past that the 1600m is his pet distance and as and as well winning his two Doncaster Miles, he won the 2012 Group 1 NZ$300,000 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park and the 2014 Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.