Another great day of racing at Randwick is on this Saturday, if it’s not cancelled due to track conditions. Sydney has experienced very heavy rain most of this week – over 100mm, so if the race meeting goes ahead, the track will be most likely rated slow to heavy.
That’s nothing new for Sydney autumn racing, in fact the past two weekends of good tracks is out of the ordinary.
Anyway, there are three Group One races this weekend, the feature being the Doncaster Mile. A full field of twenty plus emergencies was accepted when fields were finalised on Wednesday, but already there have been three scratchings and More Joyous will not start if the track is heavy. So that leaves us with the mud runners and sundry other hopefuls. It’s a hard race to pick the winner, with so many factors to consider. I’m hoping Shoot Out, who has slow track form, can add the Doncaster to his CV. He’s been kept fresh for this, is not badly weighted and has drawn a reasonable barrier midfield. He also loves the Randwick track His stablemate, Rangirandoo, represents his biggest threat, though class mares Secret Admirer, Hurtle Myrtle and Absolutely, have very good chances. Sacred Choice, a mare who thrived on bog tracks, won the race last year, though she has now been retired. Sincero and the lightweight three year olds Fast Clip and Niagara could sneak a place or even cause an upset. And if More Joyous does run, Gai Waterhouse reckons she’ll win, though she tried and failed last year in similar conditions.
The Australian Oaks has a small field dominated by the classy Streama, who like the rest of the field has not run over the distance of 2400 metres. She was only narrowly beaten by super filly Mosheen last start, thus is the one to beat. New Zealand filly Full Of Spirit, who has won her last two outings, is a major threat and Aliyana Tilde who ran third in the Vinery Stud behind Mosheen and Streama could very well place again.
The third Group One of the day is The Galaxy, a sprint over 1100 metres. It’s another race with no stand out performer and many chances. Nobby Snip has won his last three starts, so is a top consideration. Satin Shoes has been mixing it with the best, but her wet form is suspect, though Lady’s Angel loves a bog track and finished third behind Atlantic Jewell last start, so could easily win this one. There’s also Bel Sprinter, Winter King, Zaratone , Elite Falls and Title who all have claims to group one glory in this wide open race.
The good news this week is that Black Caviar will return to the races next Saturday 28th April in the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes (now called Sportingbet Classic) in Adelaide, aiming for her 20th win in succession. She will also run in the Group One Goodwood two weeks later, before heading to Royal Ascot to take on the world.
UPDATE – Sunday
Well, Gai was right. More Joyous won the Doncaster Mile. Shoot Out ran a great race and was a close second, with outsider Yosei running third. Not a totally surprising result after all. In the end the track was a dead 5, after being rated a heavy 8 in the morning.
Streama was spectacular winning the Oaks, coming from an impossible position to overtake Aliyana Tilde and Thy who were fighting it down the straight, where they finished second and third respectively.
The only long shot Group One winner was Temple of Boom in the Galaxy, who pipped Nobby Snip at the post. Ladys Angel ran third.