Doncaster Mile Tips – likely Heavy track music to Melody’s ears
Looking for Doncaster Mile Tips on Saturday, April 4? Our form expert has previewed the Randwick showpiece and has given his best bet for the race.
DONCASTER MILE PREVIEW
Firstly, with five to 20mm of rain predicted for Randwick on Thursday and 10 to 25mm forecast for Friday, the already Soft 6-rated track is sure to be downgraded to Heavy.
And while some will be better suited than others on the likely Heavy surface, there is also a distance issue that needs to be addressed.
The Doncaster Mile is run over 1600m and most horses geared at the race are milers, but a Heavy track and the high-pressure nature of the race will make this more like an 1800m to 2000m race depending on how much rain Randwick receives.
With that in mind, I want to find a horse that is not only superior in rain-affected going, but one that is proven over 2000m.
11 of the 20 runners have produced their peak BM performances over 1600m, and a further four have ran a personal best over 1400m to 1500m, while one has a career best over 2800m.
That leaves us with four runners to have posted peak figures over 1800m to 2000m.
Of those runners, there is one that clearly stands out on peak performance, timing to produce that peak on Saturday, Soft and Heavy track efforts, and strongest last start form.
WHO WILL WIN THE DONCASTER MILE?
The Kiwi mare MELODY BELLE is the one that ticks all these boxes.
She has a personal best BM performance of 14.8 lengths quicker than standard when winning the Empire Rose Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on a Soft 7 last spring.
And these figures only take into account her handful of runs in Australia as my data doesn’t include BM ratings for NZ racing where she possibly could have posted stronger figures.
Only two horses (Best Of Days and Mr Quickie) have a higher rating personal best when going 17.7 and 15.9 lengths quicker than standard over a mile.
Neither of this pair have won on Heavy going, and that combined with a few other factors has me putting the pen through them.
Melody Belle’s last start BM figure of 14.8 lengths quicker than standard is the strongest last start figure in the Doncaster ahead of Kolding who comes out of the same race – the All-Star Mile.
Melody Belle was held up in the straight and should have clearly posted a stronger figure also.
THIRD-UP THE KEY
As far as peak patterns go, this daughter of Commands really fires fourth-up.
In her last four preparations, she’s unbeaten third-up having claimed a Group 3 event and then three consecutive Group 1 races.
Having finished 3rd in the Futurity Stakes (1400m) first-up this campaign, and then 3rd in the All-Star Mile last start, she’s had the perfect preparation to keep that impeccable third-up record intact.
As far as rain-affected tracks go, Melody Belle won the Group 1 NZ Stakes (2000m) on a Heavy 10, so the wetter the better for her.
She’ll jump from gate 11 if the emergencies don’t get a run, and with a bit of luck in running, Opie Bosson is likely to have Melody Belle somewhere around midfield with cover.
She’ll appreciate the wide expanses at Randwick, and while some of the opposition’s wheels are spinning in the straight, the daughter of Commands will be digging her toe in and charging home.
Chris Waller saddles up seven runners as he aims for his seventh Doncaster win, and his team must be respected.
Waller is an absolute master at preparing horses for this race and it wouldn’t surprise to see at least a couple of his in the first four home, and of those, Imaging, Kolding and Mister Sea Wolf look best.
John Sargent’s Brandenburg met with strong market support as soon as markets were opened, and with just 50.5kg on his back in the form of Doncaster master jockey Glen Boss, he has to be rated among the top chances.
Doncaster Mile Tips: