If More Joyous is able to win the Doncaster Mile today not only will she need to overcome the rain, she’ll arguably need to be better than Sunline.
Sunline couldn’t pull off a Doncaster victory as a four-year-old but More Joyous is a warm favourite with punters.
Eleven years ago Sunline started as a $3.80 favourite for the race with 5.5kgs more than her main rivals.
She had won 16 races at the time with a strike rate of 73 percent while More Joyous has 14 wins hitting 78 percent of the time.
Sunline had four Group 1’s at the time while More Joyous has already claimed five with both mares only missing the podium on three occasions.
More Joyous is only half a kilogram better off than Sunline was in the weights with 57kgs however more importantly Sunline had to contend with an 8kg weight spread from her to the bottom weight while More Joyous only has 5.5kgs.
Sunline had already bagged the mile win the year before and came back as a six-year-old to carry 58kg to a 2002 victory.
Gai Waterhouse has been disappointed with the lack of credit given to her superstar horse with much of the attention given to So You Think in the spring and Black Caviar throughout 2011.
A win in the Doncaster though would surely lift her standing right alongside the best rated horses in the world.
Australia’s standing as a horse racing hub has never been stronger with international recognition of our horses at unprecedented levels.
Australia has never had more horses in the top world ranking than right now and it’s mostly due to the greater recognition given to our domestic racing program.
Black Caviar for example is rated the world’s best horse despite never racing overseas, something that was previously unheard of.
For More Joyous a victory under these circumstances would definitely lift her above Sunline’s rating, but more importantly it would keep her parallel to the legends amazing career.
In the last century only two mares have carried a weight greater than 57kg to victory with Cuddle lugging 59kgs in 1936 and Sunline’s effort as a six-year-old with 58kgs in 2002.
The Doncaster hasn’t been a friendly event to prolific racehorse owner John Singleton but he feels today is his day.
“I’ve been waiting 30 long years to win the Doncaster. The race haunts me,” he said.
“Gerry Harvey and I paid a fortune for Gypsy Kingdom in 1980, had it trained by Bart and he was supposed to be unbeatable.
“Then TJ Smith produced this “crock” called Iko to knock us off.
“My old mate Harvey might knock us off with Aloha. More Joyous has to carry the grandstand and Aloha has nothing.”