It is autumn, Doncaster Mile Day, Randwick, it rains, always has, always will. It is the order of affairs that the rain has commenced in Sydney’s east late Thursday with some 20mm possible overnight and another 8mm to 25mm forecast for Friday. Wet track form will be required for Saturday’s meeting including the feature Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m).
In an effort to use that wet track form we went first to TAB’s market for the Doncaster Mile and took the top 11 runners in the market from the current favourite Brandenburg (NZ) at $6.50 out to Homesman (USA) and Cascadian (GB) sharing $19.00.
In between that range three stand out, Melody Belle (NZ) at $7.50, Imaging (GB) at $14.00 and Quackerjack at $16.00.
Melody Belle has her sire Command’s renown wet track process, nine wins from 14 starts on Soft tracks and two from two on Heavy tracks. Imaging, by Oasis Dream, is one win from three on Soft and three from five on Heavy. Quackerjack, by Not A Single Doubt, has two from three on Soft and one from two on Heavy.
Add into the mix the history of the last ten years winners weights. Six have carried 55.5kg and under, Winx and Sacred Falls (NZ) carried 56.5kg, Happy Clapper 57kg and More Joyous 57.5kg. Only very good gallopers can carry weight to victory in Doncaster’s.
Quackerjack, picture Sportpix.com.au
Melody Belle has 57kg under Opie Bosson with barrier 14 which is getting out in the barriers for the 20 strong capacity field. The five-year-old mare will have to emulate those four cited above to win with this weight.
Imaging, the winner of the Group 2 Ajax Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill on a Heavy 9 with 57kg, drops to 53.5kg under Kerrin McEvoy, but has barrier 20. That said the now retired Brutal (NZ) won from barrier 18 last year and is one of 19 winners to start from a double-digit alley in the past 30 years, including eight in the past 12 years with those figures courtesy of colleague Brad Bishop’s History Says – Doncaster Mile.
Which leaves Mark Newnham’s Quackerjack with 53.5kg under Rachel King and barrier one. Quackerjack was fourth to Imaging carrying 58.5kg in the Ajax Stakes and both have that drop for Saturday. They have 3.5kg on Melody Belle, perhaps a 2L advantage.
The four-year-old has the remarkable record of racing 11 times in 2019 and into 2020. He has won five of those starts, placed in four and was sixth in another to go with the last start fourth. He has won five from 10 starts at Randwick and simply does not know how to run a bad race.
The current place price with TAB of $5.00 has to be value, let alone the win strike.
The favourite, John Sargent’s three-year-old Brandenberg, has no form on Heavy tracks and has won one from four on Soft. He does, however, have Glen Boss, the undisputed king of the modern Doncaster with six wins and all with 53kg or less. Brandenberg has 50.5kg, barrier seven and Boss knows how to win with that package.
However, Quackerjack’s sire Not A Single Doubt has produced Group 1 winners from 1200m, Farnan in the Golden Slipper, to 2000m, Shout The Bar in the Vinery Stud Stakes, over the last two weeks. He might just make it a tidy treble with a Group 1 1600m winner on Saturday.