Zac Purton has been booked to ride Sacred Falls in the 2014 Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick on Saturday and the Hong Kong-based jockey is hopeful that last year’s victor can give him a maiden win in the Group 1 event.
Purton has had little luck in his four previous starts in the Doncaster Mile and missed the placings with German Chocolate (2008), High Cee (2007), Swick (2006) and This Manhood (2005), but rates Sacred Falls a genuine chance of becoming the first horse since Pharaoh in 1995 to win the Doncaster Mile in back-to-back years.
The world class hoop had his first ride on Sacred Falls in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 and was satisfied with the effort of the son of O’Reilly and is confident that he would have taken plenty of benefit out of the tough run.
“I think all in all his run was pretty good,” Purton told Sky Racing HQ.
“He didn’t get beaten by far and he was only second-up, so he is going to take benefit from that.
“It is hard when you are coming through in a preparation when you are striking those wet tracks, as he did last time, to be at your top, but I’m sure he took the required benefit out of that and he is ready to go.
“He was a winner there last year and horses seem to come right at the same time every year and I am hoping that is going to be the case again.”
Purton is locked in a tight battle for the Hong Kong Jockeys Premiership with the in-form Joao Moreira and the pair will clash in the Doncaster Mile on Saturday; with Moreira booked to ride imported galloper Slow Pace in the $3 million race.
Moreira has only had five rides in his racing career at Royal Randwick and Purton joked that he would not be giving his rival any advice ahead of the opening weekend of The Championships.
“If he did I probably would give him a bit of a bum steer; there are no friends in business,” Purton joked.
“To be honest, I will have a chat to Joao and tell him a little bit about the track, but he has been down there before so he should know what it is like.
“Randwick is such a beautiful track and there are not too many tricks to it anyway.”
Sacred Falls is currently available at 2014 Doncaster Mile odds of $12, while Moreira’s mount Slow Pace has received a sprinkling of support and is now into a quote of $18.