El Roca set to take on the older horses in the Doncaster Mile

By: Mark Mazzaglia
April 8th, 2014

Kiwi three year old El Roca is set to take on the older horses in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday as he strives to win his first Group 1 race.

El Roca, brown and gold, is outgunned by Dissident, blue and white, in the Royal Randwick Guineas.

El Roca, brown and gold, is outgunned by Dissident, blue and white, in the Royal Randwick Guineas. Photo by Steve Hart.

El Roca is only one of three three-year-olds in the Doncaster Mile field along with the Peter Moody trained Dissident and second emergency Gypsy Diamond.

The Trent Busuttin trained colt has been placed in Group 1 company at his last two starts and the Cambridge trainer says that he couldn’t have El Roca any fitter than he is at the moment.

“He won’t do a lot now, all we have to do is keep him ticking over,” Busuttin told Racing Network.

“If he can draw a barrier and settle a few lengths back than he has been, he’ll be charging at them at the finish with 50kgs.”

El Roca was originally weighted on 50kgs but with the  non-acceptance of the It’s A Dundeel who was weighted on 58kgs, all the weights had to be raised 1.5kg so the new top weight Boban will carry the mandatory 58kgs.

El Roca has performed consistently over the Sydney Autumn Carnival and from four starts has one win and three placings, including his last start third to Gordon Lord Byron in the weight for age Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 29.

At his previous start El Roca looked like he was about to collect his first Group 1 trophy when he strode alongside Dissident at the 300m and even poked his nose in front before the Moody trained colt fought back under hard riding from Jim Cassidy to take out the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 15.

Big race jockey Glen Boss takes over from Hugh Bowman, who is required to ride the Guy Walter trained Streama, as Busuttin is keen to give El Roca another go at the 1600m.

“I’m not sure if he really gets the mile but you don’t get many chances to get into a Doncaster on this weight,” Busuttin told AAP.

“I was really proud of him in the George Ryder and it would be nice to get him into a race where he could be ridden a little quieter.”

“He’s not far off winning a big race.”

“He just hasn’t been able to get one yet.”

The Fastnet Rock colt has raced twice over 1600m from his eight starts which have resulted in a second to Dissident and also a fifth to Long John in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield during the Spring last year.

El Roca is currently the second pick in the market order for the Doncaster Mile at $8 with the Team Hawkes trained Messene the ruling favourite at $3.50.

Chris Waller trained runners occupy the next five places in the betting with Weary at $9, Hawkspur at $11, Boban and Royal Descent at $12 and last year’s Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls at $13.

The Guy Walter trained Toydini is amongst the Waller horses at $12 while Dissident is marked as a $15 chance.

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