Japanese sprinter-miler Real Impact has shot to the top of the Doncaster Mile betting after a dogged win in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Real Impact created a huge impression fighting off Criterion in his Australian debut and was immediately moved to the top of the market order for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 4, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
Ladbrokes.com.au have Real Impact the clear favourite at $6 ahead of the three year olds Hallowed Crown at $8, Shooting To Win at $11 and Kemardec at $13.
World Ace, also from Japan, was beaten just over five lengths when eleventh to Real Impact in the George Ryder Stakes and is also marked at $13.
Leading Sydney rider James McDonald steered Real Impact to his narrow win on Saturday and was impressed with the seven year olds fighting qualities.
“An awesome horse,” McDonald said
“He began really well and they said he can be a bit ‘iffy’ but he got into a lovely rhythm.
“I set him alight about 600 from home and he stayed on, the big fella!
“He (Criterion) fought really hard but my horse found another gear once that horse got to him.
“I don’t think he’s going to win a big race by a big margin, so I’m glad my head was down when the winning post came up.”
Hallowed Crown suffered his first defeat this campaign with a fighting third behind Kiwi three year old Volkstock’N’Barrell and Victoria Derby winner Preferment in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas over 2000m at Rosehill last Saturday but c0-trainer James Cummings had always planned to drop the Street Sense colt back to the 1600m of the Doncaster Mile.
Kermadec also put in a good Doncaster Mile trial with an eye catching third to Real Impact ion the George Ryder Stakes after missing the start badly before making up plenty of ground in the straight.
Three year old Shooting To Win was a beaten favourite for the third time from three runs this campaign when fifth to Real Impact in the George Ryder Stakes but has excuses after pulling with some soreness in the back area.
Trainer Peter Snowden reported to stewards that Shooting To Win pulled up with a back problem and he will now strive to have the Northern Meteor colt fit for the Doncaster Mile in two weeks time.
At his two previous starts Shooting To Win was a first up fourth to Hallowed Crown in the Group 2 $200,000 Blackwoods CRC Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 21 followed by a third to Hallowed Crown again in the Group 1 $600,000 Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 7.