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RANDWICK PREVIEW April 18, 2009 DONCASTER HANDICAP (1600M) Race 7, 3.30pm (Sydney time) If you read the history of the Doncaster Handicap – Australia’s premier handicap “mile” – then you cannot discount any runner. The Doncaster is not for the fainthearted, as it is a fast and tough affair, but the handicap conditions and the spacious Randwick track mean every horse has its chance to win. Longshots such as Catalan Opening ($34 in 1998) and Patezza ($21 in 2005) have caused upsets and there have been 30 3YOs take the prize – and 3YOs have won the past three years (Triple Honour, Haradasun and Racing To Win). That is encouraging for fans of Whobegotyou. Champions Sunline (2002 – 58kg) and Super Impose (1991 – 59.5kg) prove that the best horses can with big weights – more weight than Theseo (57kg) is carrying; and 31 mares the ilk of Private Steer, Sunline, Maybe Mahal, Emancipation, Citius, Wakeful and Briseis are memorable winners. Hot Danish has her chance to join the list. Jockeys can prove themselves masters of the Randwick “Mile” – Glen Boss, who rides Largo Lad, has won it five times, including the past three, and Gai Waterhouse, who saddles up the topweight Theseo, has won it six times, one less than her famous father Tommy Smith. All that said, All Silent is set to give Grahame Begg his most important win as a trainer and jockey Damien Oliver (incredibly) his first Doncaster winner. Begg wasn’t over the moon with All

Silent’s lead-up fourth behind Vision And Power in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (WFA 1500m) at Rosehill on heavy ground, but for him – “it was good enough.” All Silent will find a lot more in his favour this time – he’s fitter, prefers a handicap and a firmer track, and gets on to his home track. Oliver’s only worry will be to find All Silent some cover from barrier 16 because the gelding desperately needs it otherwise he will over-race. The crack mare Hot Danish has drawn to run a great race. In hindsight, trainer Les Bridge probably erred in not running in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m), preferring the weightfor-age Group 1 Queen Of The Turf (1500m) only to strike a heavy track. Trainer Anthony Cummings almost snatched last year’s Doncaster when Casino Prince (ridden by Oliver) just failed to grab Triple Honour, but this year his improved galloper Solo Flyer is in wonderful form and can give Cummings his first Doncaster at juicy odds. Expect Whobetgotyou, Vision And Power and the roughie Musket to run well on the back of a solid tempo. . The tips: All Silent and Hot Danish the top two, then Solo Flyer, Whobegotyou, Vision And Power and Musket for value.

TEMPO - FAST Expect the pace to be on throughout thanks to the Kiwi veteran Sir Slick who will bowl along in front. This solid pace should ensure all horses, especially the back-runners have every chance to win. then type the bold text required, then to get back to normal text press APPLE SHIFT B and keep typing.

AND ALSO The TJ Smith (Randwick R6) has “don’t miss” all over it, for reasons far beyond the punt – good things do come in small fields, and you don’t get a much better story than Takeover Target in the history of the Australian racehorse. Unless, of course at this point in the TT story, it is Apache Cat. The Cat is a splash in his own right and, at a still-young six, is in his prime, whereas owner-trainer Joe Janiak is nursing 9YO TT more and more as retirement looms. And, for once, Team Apache seems more settled than what used to be the most settled combo of all – what is JJ thinking in putting Nash Rawiller on for Jay Ford when JF is 19-36 in the great horse’s 19-37 career? Yes, we’ve heard the “dead weight” argument, but surely knowledge is worth its weight in lead. As he showed in the Australia Stakes last start, Damien Oliver is no dead weight on the Cat, who also handles the soft and the Sydney way. And he did beat an underdone TT in this race last year. The heart says TT, the brain says AC, and the pocket fills better from the brain than the heart. So at $2.60 or so, AC is AOK with us. The others are all Group 1 winners, but they all have bigger question marks against them than the super heroes. Gai Waterhouse would like to send Northern Meteor to stud on a win in the race named for her father; in Nicconi, David Hayes might have the sprinter he desperately wants; Bel Mer can go; and Racing To Win will be doing just that. But, simply, they are not super heroes. Stephen Howell

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race preview April 18

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