More Joyous’ place in Doncaster in doubt

By: Mark Mazzaglia
April 18th, 2012

Punters will have to wait until later in the week for confirmation that race favourite More Joyous will take her place in the Group 1 $2m Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

More Joyous

More Joyous in doubt for the Doncaster Mile - photo (c) Steve Hart

Conflicting reports from More Joyous’ connections have surfaced due to the wet weather that is sweeping across Sydney and the possibility of a heavy track has thrown doubt on her lining up on Saturday.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse is not fazed about her multiple Group one winning mare fronting up on a rain affected track but owner John Singleton is not at all keen to see her compete in the heavy.

Even though More Joyous has winning wet track form, Singleton’s racing manager Duncan Grimley said that she would not contest the Doncaster after finishing a dismal eleventh to Sacred Choice in last year’s Doncaster on a rain sodden surface.

“We will never run her again on the heavy after last time,” Grimley said.

“We just happened to strike them on Slipper day and Doncaster day. We won’t be doing that again.”

“The original plan was to back up next week into the Queen Elizabeth, but it’s all weather dependent with her.”

But Waterhouse, as usual, is very upbeat about the five year old’s chances on any surface after watching her go through her paces on Tuesday morning.

“They could have a flood and she’d win the race,” Waterhouse said after watching her stable star watch stylishly on the course proper at Randwick.

Jockey Nash Rawiller is on the same page as Waterhouse and pointed out that there could have been other circumstances why she ran well below par last year.

“She has actually performed very well in the wet before, it did pour with rain last year, she wasn’t probably fully at home but I don’t think she performed up to her best on the day,” Rawiller said.

“Whether there was other reasons apart from the wet track no-one will ever know but to me she wasn’t quite herself so I would forgive her that. As for the Golden Slipper, I don’t think Darren was himself that day.”

The form guide shows that More Joyous has four wins and a third from five starts on a slow surface while her heavy track record is none from two.

Darren Beadman rode her when she beat one runner home in the heavy in Phelan Ready’s 2009 Golden Slipper and Rawiller was aboard in last year’s Doncaster.

More Joyous has returned from a summer spell with two wins from two starts and was virtually untouched at her latest start in taking out the Group 1 $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Rosehill on April 7.

Rawiller wasn’t aboard More Joyous on Tuesday morning but did see her work under the care of track work rider Steve Halloran and was impressed with her work leading up to Saturday’s big race.

“We don’t want a lot more rain because it probably takes that bit of ping out of her but I certainly wouldn’t write her off,” he said.

“She is going as good as we can get her, she is the sort of horse that can overcome big weights, when people write her off, that is when she gets up.”

Randwick has been rated a heavy 8 for Saturday after torrential rain swept across Sydney forcing the cancellation of today’s Warwick Farm meeting.

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