Fans of Chris Waller got the 2014 Doncaster Mile result that they were looking for; with Sacred Falls scoring an impressive win over stablemates Royal Descent, Weary and Hawkspur in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Royal Descent hit the front with 250 metres left to run and looked as though she was going to race away from the rest of the field to score her second win at Group 1 level, but Sacred Falls snuck up on the inside to score his second straight victory in the Doncaster Mile.
Trainer Chris Waller had five leading chances in the 2014 Doncaster Mile and his horses completely swept the first four in the prestigious event in one of the most outstand training performances in the history of Australian racing.
“It is quiet unbelievable – the first four,” Waller said.
“It was a great team effort and he is a very good horse, it just went a bit pear-shaped in the spring and we bit the bullet and sent him back to New Zealand to spell.
“We gave him a longer spell just to make sure that he could be right for this race and we sacrificed a lot of races getting here.
“Today was the day and he is an outstanding colt.”
Waller was full of praise for Royal Descent, who was caught wide after jumping from an outside gate, and he believes the Redoute’s Choice mare may have got the better of her stablemate if she had recovered a better Doncaster Mile barrier draw.
“She had barrier 20 and she was four wide doing it tough,” Waller said.
“Full credit to Nash, he wanted to ride her that way and he held her together for as long as he could, but to be run down by Sacred Falls in the shadows of the post.
“Turn the barriers around and it might have been a photo finish.
“Next week looks pretty good and I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I would say that all of the first four, apart from Weary, will back up in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes next weekend.
Jockey Zac Purton, who is now based in Hong Kong, was celebrating his first race win in Australia since he took out the 2008 Epsom Handicap with Theseo and was clearly thrilled to record another win at the highest level of racing on home turf.
Purton has been desperate for more opportunities to compete in Group 1 races in Australia and hopes that his Doncaster Mile victory will allow more chances to come his way in feature events on the racing calendar.
“Obviously he did it last year with no weight on his back and he hadn’t won a race since, but he had been race really well and obviously the wet track helped him here today,” Purton said.
“Not many horses win back-to-back Doncasters so he has done a really good job.
“For some reason people at home seem to forget about me a little bit.
“I know I wasn’t that well established when I left, so it is probably understandingly so, but I seem to be getting the job done all around the world and get left out at home.
“To get this opportunity and to get the job done is very satisfying.”
Sacred Falls is set to make his debut over 2000 metres in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes next weekend and will likely be joined in the race by stablemates Royal Descent, Hawkspur, Boban and Junoob.