Winx will deliver Waller six super Randwick Miles. Chris Waller’s dominance of the Randwick Mile is all set to continue this weekend with Winx and Kermadec heading the betting for the $3M Doncaster Handicap. Waller has won five of the past eight Doncasters – with four individual winners, and Winx current records rates clearly better than any of that quartet. She’s odds-on – a sign of her dominance in such a race, with only Kermadec ($8.00) the only other runner under double figures. Nine of the past twelve winners of the Doncaster have come from gate ten or wider and only one winner, Sacred Falls (2013), in the past seven years has returned double-figure odds. It all points to Winx – who may just very well make the $1.85 available about her – a very, very good price.
1. KERMADEC – Z Purton (3)
Cherry ripe for his defense of the Doncaster Mile after two good runs back from a spell. Just found Holler too nippy first up over the 1350m in the Canterbury Stake before beating all bar Winx home in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m). Meets the mare 1.5kgs better at the weights and any cut in the track will assist him in trying to turn the table on her here. Hard to picture the finish without him in it.
2. TURN ME LOOSE – O Bosson (9)
The NZ galloper got the right run in the right race to score in the G1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) second up from a spell before weakening quickly and unexpectedly from the lead position in the George Ryder, finishing sixth. Won the G1 Emirates Stakes last spring over this trip, but carries 0.5kgs more here, meets a stronger field and last start less than ideal.
3. WINX – H Bowman (11)
She made it eight straight wins with a comfortable victory over Kermadec in the G1 George Ryder Stakes last start. Ratings for each run this prep continue to rise and she just seems to do effortlessly in the end, making good horses struggle to match here. Sunline was 10/9 in betting when she won this race as a three year old, and is the shortest priced favourite to win the Doncaster in the past 23 years.
4. STRATUM STAR – M Zahra (2)
In need of the run first up in the CF Orr Stakes and two since, in the G1 Futurity and G2 Blamey, have been very good. He drops a couple of kilos on each of those runs and maps to get a sweet run from gate two. Went close last spring in the Toorak Handicap (carrying 57kgs) when third to Lucky Hussler and a similar performance here wouldn’t surprise.
5. BOW CREEK – J McDonald (4)
No luck looking for a run along the fence first up in the C F Orr Stake, but found some when looking for a similar run in the G2 Peter Young Stakes at his following start, winning by 1.5 lengths. Got back and given the pace they set, stood no chance in the Australian Cup (2000m) where he started the 2/1 favourite. Like him back to the handicap conditions here and back to the mile, a distance he has had most of his racing over. Great each-way value at $13 for mine.
6. FIRST SEAL – T Berry (1)
Excellent first up against her own sex to score in the G2 Millie Fox Stakes, before a tough second to Holler in the Canterbury Stakes. Last start though, did expect to see more from the John Thompson trained mare when fourth (almost five lengths) from Winx in the George Ryder. Meets her much better at the weights and will get a cheap run from the inside gate – but all wins to date have been against her won sex and would think place chance her best hope.
7. VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL – C Brown (10)
Has won two of three starts in NZ this prep, the latest seeing him having to survive a protest to claim the G1 NZ Stakes. Gets a nice weight drop now given the above three runs have all been at WFA and would appear to be well prepared for this race but results in Australia last spring, still raise some concerns for mine and would rather leave him for others when it comes to the selections.
8. GOOD PROJECT – C Newitt (7)
Rounded out last prep with victory in the G1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and returned from the summer break with a strong finishing third to Charlie Boy in the G3 Liverpool City Cup. Drew wide and decided to go forward at his only run since – the G2 Ajax Stakes, but weakened late to run seventh. Reported to be lame after that race, which was won by It’s Somewhat, but has trialed very well since. Improving galloper who maps well in the run from his gate but has picked one of the toughest G1’s to contest as his first.
9. ECUADOR – T Clark (14)
Settled handy to the speed in both the G1 Canterbury Stakes and G3 Newcastle Newmarket at his two runs back from a spell – but failed to finish either off running sixth and seventh respectively. With a light weight – expect him to shoot across from the wide gate and found another handy position but as was the case in each of the above runs, will find the final furlong tough to see out again a field of great depth.
10. HAPPY CLAPPER – B Avdulla (8)
Has had a crack at WFA G1 races since coming back from a brief summer break, and applied himself well, running fourth in the G1 Canterbury Stakes and fifth in the George Ryder. Drops a staggering 8kgs now to just 50.5kgs and although not at this level, has great stats for this track and trip. Drawn perfectly in eight, excellent prep for this race and outside of the favourite, think he is the next best.
11. AZKADELLIA – G Boss (12)
In excellent form against her own sex of late and not surprising to see her opening price of $13, trim as soon as markets opened into $10. Looked set to claim Peeping last start in the G1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) but fell just half a length short in finishing second. Steps open to open class now – and the strongest field she’s met to date. To be taking the $10, think I would have had to have seen her reel peeping in and win last start.
12. HE OR SHE – P Moloney (13)
Ridden perfectly from gate four and appreciated the drop back to the mile in winning the G2 Blamey Stakes last start. That’s seen the former Perth galloper continue to build an impressive series of results since joining the Hayes/Dabernig stable and deserve his shot here well down in the weights.
13. RUDY – T Harrison (15)
Lines up for his third attempt at a feature Randwick Mile and has followed the same path as he did into this race last year, where he ultimately ran fourth behind Kermadec. Efforts in the lead up races this year have been better than last, carries 0.5kgs less, so there’s some positives there for him taking those factors into consideration, but gate 15 and at G1 level, reckon he’ll find a few too good again.
14. AOMEN – W Costin (5)
Had every chance in the run first up when contesting the G3 Newmarket Handicap, finishing fifth (2.5 lengths) behind Artistry. Will strip fitter for that run – his first since September last year, but only win from eleven Australian starts was his first – and can’t see his second coming here.
15. VERGARA – K O’Hara (6)
Took up the running in the G3 Epona Stakes last start and gutsed out a head win over Heaven’s Above. Ran fourth in the G2 Guy Walter – which has proven a very good form race (Zanbagh, Peeping) but would prefer her to stick to her own sex rather take on the very best.
RACE OVERIVEW –
Speed should be good here with Aomen, Ecuador, Turn Me Loose and other drawn well with light weight, keen to take advantage of both of those factors. Just can’t go past Winx – how could you? Her record is faultless. Thought Happy Clapper was the best chance of causing an upset. Like him after two WFA runs – both good, the drop in weight and the fact he maps very well. Kermadec – through the Winx form-line, has to be found a spot in selections with the best of longer price chances for mine being He Or She, Bow Creek and Stratum Star