Doncaster Mile, Australian Derby favourites draw wide

Another Wil rocketed to the top of betting for Saturday’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) after winning the Doncaster Prelude on Saturday and remains a firm favourite at $3.50 with online bookmakers despite drawing barrier 21, which could come in to 17 if the emergencies fail to get a run.

The lightly raced gelding has won four in a row and sneaks into the field with 50kg, with Jamie Kah set to continue her association with the Ciaron Maher trained four-year-old.

Maher has five runners in the final field and first emergency Nugget as he aims to win his first Doncaster Mile, while Chris Waller also has five in the final field as he aims to win a record-equalling seventh.

Think About It will carry top weight at 57kg and trainer Joseph Pride believes The Everest winner is ready to peak on Saturday after two tough lead-in runs, hoping for a better run from barrier 15, which could come into 12.

“It’s a red-hot Doncaster this year, certainly when we thought of coming here we didn’t quite envisage this strong a field lining up but he’s a tremendous horse… he goes into it with a couple of really tough, seasoning runs that will have him at his peak on Saturday,” Pride said.

The last three-year-old to win the Doncaster was Brutal in 2019, who became the eighth three-year-old winner since 2000 and this year will see both the Randwick and Australian Guineas winners line up in Celestial Legend ($6 second favourite) and Southport Tycoon ($15).

Celestial Legend drew barrier six for Tyler Schiller who will take the ride at 49kg and says the horse is relishing his work ahead of another Group 1 target.

“He’s some horse, he loves his work, he knows where the line is and he’s very competitive… if he’s forward of midfield it’d probably be nice but I wouldn’t be afraid of being midfield to back and getting out,” Schiller said.

Meanwhile, Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) favourite Riff Rocket drew barrier 10/14 as he aims to emulate the likes of Hitotsu, Mahogany and Dulficy as winners of both the Victoria and Australian Derby’s.

The last start Rosehill Guineas winner remains a $3.50 favourite for Saturday’s Derby ahead of lone filly and VRC Oaks winner Zardozi, who drew barrier two and has been backed into $4 second favourite ahead of stablemate Tom Kitten who drew barrier 3 and remains firm at $6.

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