There you go! You can put a line through at least one of the runners in the Doncaster Mile according to champion jockey Mick Dittman.
Hallowed Crown has beaten nearly everything that’s been put in front of him, but as Dittman explains in his latest exclusive blog for online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au, it’s something totally out of the horses control that’s killed off its chances on Saturday.
The barrier draw has all but ended favourite Hallowed Crown’s chances of winning Saturday’s Doncaster.
He’s a classy three-year-old and gets in well at the weights, but from a wide barrier he’s going to have to fluke a good run. He’s won over 1600m, but I don’t think he is an outstanding “miler” and the Doncaster is one of the toughest mile races in the world.
This trip is as far as Hallowed Crown wants to go and in this type of field he will need all the breaks. He’s not good enough to sit three wide and win. There are a lot of questions about what sort of run he is going to get from gate 23, which will be the telling point.
The Doncaster is a very strong race this year and there are plenty of other runners that are also well weighted.
View Mick Dittman’s comments:
If I had my choice of mounts I’d stick with Chris Waller’s Kermadec.
The three-year-old is second emergency and will hopefully gain a start. He also has a wide alley to contend with, but I am much more confident of Kermadec running out a strong 1600m.
He’s a robust colt and the type you can ride for luck. Kermadec could sit three-deep with cover and still finish off huge, which is what you want.
The Japanese horse Real Impact, who is also high in betting, has also drawn poorly.
So, if Kermadec fails to gain a start it might be the year for an outsider to win.
We knocked off the Kiwis at cricket during the week, but our trans-Tasman neighbours can lay claim to having a special sportsman in jockey James McDonald.
Five wins on a big day at Rosehill last week was an outstanding effort.
Like most champion riders McDonald was a star an apprentice and he’s carried on from his teenage years.
He is truly a gifted jockey, one of those kids that come along every 50 years.
McDonald has an old head on young shoulders and has been brought up well. He obviously has a great willto win and when he does salute, which is often, there’s that quiet achievement about him…..he’s no lair.
Lankan Rupee has a great opportunity to bounce back in the T.J. Smith Stakes on Saturday.
He wasn’t well ridden last start and did pull-up with a slight injury, so it would pay to forget that run.
Back to the weight-for-age scale, Lankan Rupee he meets Chautauqua and Terravista much better at the weights.
He is a world class sprinter, loves the clockwise way of racing and the sting out of the track would be a bonus.
Chautauqua’s run in the Newmarket was very very good. He’s a nice horse, lightly raced with a stack of ability and will no doubt run well.
It’s not surprising there is only one female jockey riding at Randwick on Saturday
Accomplished Sydney rider Kathy O’Hara will pilot Plucky Belle in the Doncaster.
Coincidently Plucky Belle gave Linda Meech her first Group 1 last month, when she won the Coolmore Classic on the Peter Moody trained mare.
There is an abundance of female riders racing every day of the week, all around the country and you have to feel for them.
Make no mistake there are plenty of females that can match it with the males, but they just don’t get many rides on the big days.
It’s a catch-22 situation for women riders and it will probably take a long time to change.
Owners and trainers prefer proven big race jockeys. Even though the females ride well enough, when it comes to Group races they don’t get the opportunities. That makes it very hard to prove they’re big race riders and stake a claim for carnival mounts.
Maybe Kathy might just land that outsider in the Doncaster and help them gain momentum. She is certainly good enough.