Victoria’s premier trainer Darren Weir is left with one runner, Palentino, in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday following the withdrawal of Tosen Stardom today.
The outside barrier in the capacity field of twenty and the prospect of a heavy track for the Doncaster Mile was enough for part owner Jamie Lovett from Australian Bloodstock to agree with Weir and wait for another day with Tosen Stardom.
“We’re really keen to win a good race with this horse, we think a bit of him,” Lovett told racing.com.
“We’d be happy to wait as opposed to being four, five-wide on a Heavy 10; I just don’t think that’s the best thing for the horse.”
Weir will now set the Japanese import for the weight for age Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 15.
1600m specialist Palentino will give Weir a great chance to win his first Doncaster Mile with the four year old showing his liking for the Mile with both his Group 1 wins over that distance.
During his three year old season Palentino won the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Autumn Carnival then in the Spring as a four year old took out the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Palentino now heads into the Doncaster Mile on the back of a win over 1600m in the Group 2 $200,000 Incognitus Blamey Stakes at Flemington on March 18 and Weir is willing to forget his failure at his only run in Sydney during the Spring when last of thirteen in the Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick.
“There is no doubt Flemington is his go. The mile there he loves,” Weir told RSN’s Racing Pulse.
“He went too bad at Sydney so I reckon we can forget that one hopefully. Everything went wrong and I think he just went too bad so we are putting that behind us.”
“He has drawn a lot better, I reckon the give in the ground is a plus.’
“I have no excuses from our end, a very fit horse, had a trial over a 1000m the reverse way of going at Terang on Tuesday and went very well.”
“He got up there last night in good shape so there is no excuses from our end.”
Palentino will jump from barrier three in the capacity twenty horse Doncaster Mile field and will be ridden by regular partner Mark Zahra.
In a wide open betting race at Ladbrokes.com.au, Palentino is sharing the second line of betting for the Doncaster Mile at $9 with last start Newcastle Newmarket winner Happy Clapper and Newmarket Handicap victor Redkirk Warrior.
The Kris Lees trained Le Romain sits at the top of the betting at $5.50 and goes into the Doncaster Mile with first class form of two wins and a second from his three Autumn Carnival runs.
Le Romain resumed for a first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 The Chi-X Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 13 followed by a nose win over Chautauqua in the Group 1 $500,000 BMW Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 4 but then ran into Winx in the Group 1 $1m China Horse Club George Ryder (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18 when he led the rest of the field home behind the glamour mare who put seven and a quarter lengths between herself and Le Romain.