Group 1 Doncaster Mile preview

NSW Winners pro-punter Mark Rhoden previews the Group 1 Doncaster Mile from Randwick on Saturday.

Speed Map

Dreamforce and Fundamentalist will be right on the speed and I’m expecting Le Romain and Siege Of Quebec to push on from their draws.

Of those high up in the market, Hartnell and Alizee should get the best runs. Both Brutal and Fifty Stars will need a bit of luck from their draws and I expect Unforgotten to go back.

Runner By Runner

#1 HARTNELL (James Cummings / Hugh Bowman)

Barrier 7, 58kg

Great old horse who didn’t have much luck in the All Star Mile. Drawn for a good run here. Won the Epsom last spring.

#2 LE ROMAIN (Kris Less / James McDonald)

Barrier 16, 57kg

Had a soft run and looked to have his chance in the All Star Mile. His best recent runs have been for James McDonald, so that engagement is a plus.

#3 ALIZEE (James Cummings / Blake Shinn)

Barrier 12, 56.5kg

Top class mare racing very consistently this preparation. Looked the winner in the All Star Mile but just peaked late. Not an easy task with 56.5kg here.

#4 LAND OF PLENTY (Peter & Paul Snowden / Michael Rodd)

Barrier 9, 55kg

Would be some chance if he found his best, but he always gets back. Doesn’t want much / any rain.

#5 DREAMFORCE (John Thompson / Damian Lane)

Barrier 13, 53.5kg

Tried hard against Winx last start. Will be up on the speed again here, not sure about the last bit of 1600m in this class.

#6 DIXIE BLOSSOMS (Ron Quinton / Christian Reith)

Barrier 14, 53kg

Hit a career peak with a dominant Coolmore win last start. Has to be some doubt about repeating that but comes into it if significant rain arrives.

#7 SHILLELAGH (Chris Waller / Craig Williams)

Barrier 3, 53kg

Competitive in this class at her best but looking for a dry track.

#8 KLUGER (Tomokazu Takano / Tommy Berry)

Barrier 4, 53kg

Would have some chance on his very best but has had some setbacks – a real query.

#9 WIDGEE TURF (Patrick Payne / Billy Egan)

Barrier 17, 52kg

Super honest horse with big weight drop, but would prefer him at 1400m in this grade.

#10 UNFORGOTTEN (Chris Waller / Kerrin McEvoy)

Barrier 18, 51.5kg

Love the 2000m lead-up, but she’s likely to get back from her gate and she hasn’t really fulfilled the promise she showed last Autumn.

#11 LIFE LESS ORDINARY (Chris Waller / Corey Brown)

Barrier 10, 51.5kg

Honest horse, big task to win this first-up as a seven-year-old.

#12 ECKSTEIN (Kurt Goldman / Sam Clipperton)

Barrier 15, 51kg

No win past 1400m and out of her depth here.

#13 ALOISIA (Maher & Eustace / Jay Ford)

Barrier 6, 50.5kg

Chased well in the Coolmore but she needs easier.

#14 SIEGE OF QUEBEC (Waterhouse & Bott / Robbie Dolan)

Barrier 22, 50.5kg

Will be used early here – or caught wide. Needs easier.

#15 FIFTY STARS (Hayes & Dabernig / Jye McNeil)

Barrier 24, 50kg

In great form. Will need luck from the outside gate, chances improve if significant rain arrives.

#16 I AM SERIOUS (Chris Waller / Karis Teetan)

Barrier 1, 50kg

Had a torrid run in the Coolmore and will have an easier time here. Can improve.

#17 SO SI BON (Hayes & Dabernig / Lachlan King)

Barrier 5, 50kg

Terrible winning strike rate but actually pretty well placed on his best form. Not sure about the apprentice in a Group 1 at this stage.

#18 FUNDAMENTALIST (Hayes & Dabernig / Ben Thompson)

Barrier 2, 49kg

Huge run in the Randwick Guineas at this track and trip. Needs to repeat that peak performance but will be up on the speed with no weight.

#19 EL DORADO DREAMING (Kris Lees / Andrew Gibbons)

Barrier 20, 49kg

Good filly, missed a run in the Vinery last week. Need luck from the gate.

#20 BRUTAL (Team Hawkes / Glen Boss)

Barrier 21, 49kg

Massive run behind Winx last start. He’ll need luck from the gate but he’s a big chance if he’s not knocked out by that.

Emergencies

#21 VIOLATE (Brent Stanley)

Barrier 19, 50kg

Outclassed.

#22 FIERCE IMPACT (Matthew Smith)

Barrier 23, 50kg

Outclassed.

#23 RINDERDINGDING (Chris Waller)

Barrier 8, 49kg

Has no weight but would need to improve to be a chance here.

#24 SEAWAY (Chris Waller)

Barrier 11, 50kg

Doesn’t want it too wet. Probably aiming too high anyway.

Verdict

As always, the Sydney weather will have the last word – assuming it’s not too bad, I’m leaning towards Brutal.

He needs to come through his run against Winx unscathed, and he needs to get across from his gate, but if he can overcome those issues, he’s the one to beat.

Hartnell is so tough and honest and has to be given a chance again. Fifty Stars is going to need a lot of luck from his gate but is in great form and must be promoted with any major rain.

Alizee, Fundamentalist and Unforgotten have chances but all appear to be their right price. Dixie Blossoms is another who has to be considered if the heavens open.

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