The Doncaster Mile (formerly the Doncaster Handicap) is a Group 1 race held each year at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. This 1600 metre event is an important part of the Sydney autumn racing carnival, and has been raced in the city since 1866. With such a long and distinguished history in Australian racing, the Doncaster Handicap has been won by many of Australia’s most notable horses.
The Doncaster Mile was originally run in 1866, with Dundee taking out the inaugural race. The 1892 edition of this event was also a famous race, with a record 30 starters fighting to make it home in first place. Tragedy struck the Doncaster Handicap in 1930, with a fall 1 1/2 furlongs from the winning post taking out the favourite and destroying another horse.
Some of the biggest names in the history of Australian racing have won this event over the years, including Wakeful in 1901, Blue Legend in 1946-47, Slogan Hill in 1956-57, Tudor Hill in 1959-60, Fine And Dandy in 1961 and 63, Gunsynd in 1972, Emancipation in 1983, Super Impose in 1990-91, Sunline in 1999, Grand Armee in 2003, and Haradasun in 2007.
In recent years, winners of the Doncaster Mile include Vision and Power in 2009, Rangirangdoo in 2010, Sacred Choice in 2011, More Joyous in 2012, and Sacred Falls in 2013. The Group 1 George Ryder Stakes has proven to be a good lead-up event for this race in recent years, with Vision And Power in 2009, Haradasun in 2007, Racing To Win in 2006, and Grand Armee (2nd in 2003) all winning this race after winning the George Ryder.
The Spring equivalent of the Doncaster Mile is the Epsom Handicap, with champion Super Impose making history in 1990-91 by winning both races on two occasions. Legendary trainer T.J. Smith managed to win the Doncaster Handicap seven times, with the race record set by Belmura Lad in 1979 with a time of 1:33.70. The Doncaster Handicap is also known as the Doncaster Mile, and is now run on ‘The Championships’, the newly introduced two-day $18 Million highlight of the Sydney autumn racing carnival.