Doncaster Handicap 2017 – Sydney Racing Carnival
Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Handicap – Randwick, Saturday 1 April 2017
The Doncaster Handicap is a Group 1 open handicap that takes place annually each April at Randwick racecourse in Sydney, New South Wales during the Autumn Racing Carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1600 metres and offers $3,000,000 in prizemoney. The 2016 was won by the might mare Winx and is testimony to the quality of this magnificent race.
Also known as the Doncaster Mile, the race is now the feature event on the first day of the ‘The Championships’, the newly introduced two-day $20 Million autumn racing initiative that has completely revamped the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
As a result of the revamp, the TJ Smith Stakes, the Group1 Australian Derby and Group 1 All Sires Produce Stakes all received prizemoney boosts and were added to the first day of The Championships to set up a huge day of feature racing action this autumn.
The Doncaster Handicap is one of the premier mile races on the Australian racing calendar each year and the highlight of the Randwick autumn racing carnival. It is one of the toughest 1600m handicap events in Australian racing and the assembled field is typically filled with top quality gallopers, which tends to make finding the winner a tough assignment, unless there is an outstanding galloper entered.
Four-year-olds have a good record of winning this race in recent times and if they can race on the pace then they are even more suited. The race is the autumn equivalent of the other great Randwick mile race of the spring, the Group 1 Epsom and the talented Racing To Win (2006) was the last galloper to win the Epsom Handicap & Doncaster Mile double.
The Group 1 George Ryder Stakes held during the Rosehill carnival has proven a good guide to the winner of this race over the past few years, with Vision And Power (2009), Haradasun (2007), Racing To Win (2006) and Grand Armee (2nd in 2003) all going on to win this race after winning the Ryder. Pierro (2nd in 2013) won the George Ryder Stakes before finishing runner-up in this event, while Love Conquers All (2nd in 2011) finished second in both races.
Sacred Falls (2013-14) ran fifth in the George Ryder Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill before storming home to win this race for the second year in succession, emulating the recent feats of Pharoah & Super Impose, and recent Doncaster Mile winners include More Joyous (2012) and Sacred Choice (2011).