THE Courier-Mail’s racing editor Nathan Exelby believes the Winx form with Kementari and Happy Clapper will prevail in the Doncaster Mile as he looks for the winners at Randwick and Toowoomba on Saturday.
Track: Good (4); Weather: Sunny, 28C
R7: AUSTRALIAN DERBY (2400m)
3YO G1, 3.10pm
In the run: Weather With You and Condor the likely pacesetters. Ace High handy with Levendi.
Take note: Murray Baker is aiming for a fourth win in six years in this race and together with co-trainer Andrew Forsman, has Vin De Dance, Weather With You, Mission Hill and Mongolian Marshal here. Mission Hill was solid to the line at Rosehill and was luckless in two previous NZ runs.
Did you know: Of the 14 horses coming through the Rosehill Guineas in the past 20 years to win this, only two of them (Universal Prince and Fairway) finished further back than fifth at Rosehill. That leaves Tangled, Furore and Vin De Dance as the qualifiers this year. Furore should have run a clear second.
Early money: Great betting race. Ace High very solid at $4.80. Endowment $71-$31.
NATHAN’S TIP: FURORE $6.50
NATHAN’S DANGER: Mission Hill $11
ANALYSIS: DONCASTER MILE/TJ SMITH STAKES
R9: DONCASTER MILE (1600m)
Handicap G1, 4.30pm
In the run: Speed doesn’t look huge. Arbeitsam looks the likely leader, Invincible Gem will cross and Tom Melbourne may do the same. The two favs won’t be far away.
Take note: 2016 Epsom winner Hauraki was 1.3 lengths off Winx in his final lead-up and Happy Clapper was the same margin from the great mare before winning last year’s Epsom. Therefore, the 0.8 lengths and 1.8 lengths margins for Happy Clapper and Kementari from her in the Ryder make their lead-ups a clear benchmark.
Did you know: According to Form Focus, 14 3yos have started favourite in this race since 1973, for five winners, Haradasun (2007) the most recent. Pierro (2nd in 2013) was the most recent, but had to contend with 57kg. Kementari gets in with just 51.5kg, which sits well for a G1 winner.
Early money: The favs are solid, but of those at longer odds, Tosen Stardom $34-$26 and Lanciato $26-$18 have been tried.
NATHAN’S TIP: KEMENTARI $3.70
NATHAN’S DANGER: Happy Clapper $5
Track: Good (4); Weather: Mostly sunny, 24C
R7: TOOWOOMBA CUP (2000m)
Qty Hcp, 4.02pm
In the run: Should be solid early. Doubt Defying and Get On The Grange hold prominent spots. Bodega Negra, First Crush and Honey Toast cross from wide out.
Take note: Honey Toast gets a 4.5kg swing on Doubt Defying in trying to turn around a 6.4 lengths deficit on the Coast. Doubt Defying is new to the trip, but was strong to the line at the Gold Coast and Jeff Lloyd sticks.
Did you know: There was little between Morendi and Honey Toast behind First Crush last time and both get good weight relief now. Honey Toast is proven on the track, but has taken a few runs to come good off the long break.
Early money: Mostly one-way traffic for 2016 winner Honey Toast ($6-$3).
NATHAN’S TIP: DOUBT DEFYING $4
NATHAN’S DANGER: Morendi $6.50
R8: AUDI WEETWOOD (1200m)
Qty LR, 4.42pm
In the run: Pace dependent on scratchings. Boomwaa (1st em) and Mr Marbellouz (2nd em) will add to the pressure. Even without them. Hard Stride should press on from wider out, with Sheiswhatsheis, Amanaat and possibly With A Promise handy.
Take note: Sheiswhatsheis placed in the Toowoomba Cup on this day last year. Ran well in stakes grade over the short courses in the summer. Has ratings to be very competitive.
Did you know: Of the four Weetwoods run on the new track (with five winners given last year’s dead-heat), three of them came from a settling position of eighth or worse, another was fifth/sixth in the run and the other (Mr Favulous) led. That shows backmarkers get their chance, despite the short straight. Hopfgarten has placed six times (winning four) in 10 fresh runs, often in better company than this. Should be charging at the end.
Early money: Ruettiger has been $5.50 To $3.90 and is one of many Ben Currie (pictured) horses on the day that have been well backed early.
NATHAN’S TIP: HOPFGARTEN $16
NATHAN’S DANGER: Sheiswhatsheis $12