Champion jockey Glen Boss maintains barriers are irrelevant, questioned the quality of the three-year-olds and believes his mount Think It Over is the horse to beat as he bids for a record eighth win in the $3 million The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Think It Over has drawn barrier 18 – which was the starting gate for Boss’s most recent Doncaster winner Brutal in 2019 – but Boss is unfazed.
“The barrier draw is irrelevant to me from the mile start at Randwick,’’ Boss said.
“As a rider, you just need to commit early either way. You can’t come out and wait for it to happen, you need to make it happen and that sets you up for the rest of the race.
“You have to be decisive, you can’t go out half-hearted as there will be 15 or more jockeys coming out and committing to finding a position. If you are half-hearted, you can get ‘shelved’ pretty quickly.
“The most important part of most races is the first 200m when you are trying to find a position then you can just ride the race, feel the tempo and keep your horse as relaxed as possible.’’
Glen Boss rides Think It Over to victory in the George Ryder Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
The final fields and barriers draw for the four Group 1 races on Day 1 of The Championships were declared on Tuesday with the Doncaster attracting a full field of 20 starters plus two emergencies. The highlights include:
■ The Doncaster field includes 11 individual Group 1 winners while the TJ Smith Stakes boasts a world class field of 11 sprinters including six Group 1 winners.
■ Mugatoo drew ideally in barrier four for the Doncaster and firmed into $4 favouritism as he tries to become the first topweight to win since the great Sunline in 2002.
■ Annabel Neasham, in his first season as a trainer, has three runners in the Doncaster with imports Olmedo and Zaaki, and boom three-year-old Mo’unga, plus Queen of Wizardry in the Group 1 Inglis Sires.
■ Melbourne’s leading jockey Jamie Kah has rides in all four Group 1 races – Cascadian (Doncaster), Haut Brion Her (TJ Smith Stakes), Toscanini (ATC Australian Derby) and Queen Of Wizardry.
■ Nature Strip firmed into $3.70 favouritism for the TJ Smith Stakes after drawing barrier five while main rival Eduardo ($4.60) is outside him in gate eight.
■ Montefilia, the only filly in the Derby, is a dominant $3.50 favourite after drawing perfectly in barrier four.
■ Golden Slipper runner-up Anamoe is the $2.30 favourite to win the Inglis Sires Produce Stakes.
Mugatoo is the Doncaster Mile favourite. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Think It Over, trained by Kerry Parker, won the George Ryder Stakes last start drops 6.5kg to 52.5kg for the Doncaster.
“This horse has had a wonderful preparation and the Ryder is the best form every year for the Doncaster,’’ Boss said.
“The older horses who win or are competitive in the Ryder then drop weight into the Doncaster almost always run top three.
“I love where this horse is at, he has good idea of what he is doing at the moment, he is fully in control and really enjoying it. He has a lot of confidence and has come right at just the right time.’’
Boss rated Mugatoo and Funstar were the hardest to beat and felt three-year-olds Mo’unga, Aegon and Forbidden Love would find it hard to win the Doncaster.
“Mugatoo has beaten the handicapper, he is a proper horse,’’ Boss said.
“The one I wouldn’t dismiss is Funstar. Forget her run the other day when she had no luck and her two previous runs were awesome.
“I don’t like the three-year-olds. I’ve been saying that all season as they have been taking it in turns to win.
“Mo’unga took forever to win the (Rosehill) Guineas and his sectionals weren’t great. He looked more a Derby horse than a Doncaster horse to me but he does drop to 49kg. I might be wrong but I think it is an older horses’ race.’’
DONCASTER MILE FIELD AND BARRIER DRAW
Number – Horse – Trainer – Jockey – Barrier – Weight
1 – MUGATOO (Kris Lees) – Hugh Bowman – 4 – 56kg
2 – AVILIUS (James Cummings) – James McDonald – 12 – 56kg
3 – SAMADOUBT (Bjorn Baker) – Josh Parr – 14 – 56kg
4 – STAR OF THE SEAS (Chris Waller) – TBA – 9 – 54kg
5 – OLENDO (Anabel Neasham) – Tommy Berry – 5 – 54kg
6 – SHOUT THE BAR (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) – Tim Clark – 20 – 53.5kg
7 – GEM SONG (Kris Lees) – Jason Collett – 19 – 53.5kg
8 – ZAAKI (Anabel Neasham) – Regan Bayliss – 22 – 53.5kg
9 – AEGON (Murray Baker and Andrew Foresman) – Kerrin McEvoy – 7 – 53kg
10 – CASCADIAN (James Cummings) – Jamie Kah – 3 – 53kg
11 – DALASAAN (Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas) – Jason Holder – 1 – 53kg
12 – THINK IT OVER (Kerry Parker) – Glen Boss – 18 – 52.5kg
13 – FUNSTAR (Chris Waller) – Craig Williams – 17 – 52.5kg
14 – BEST OF DAYS (James Cummings) – Rachel King – 15 – 52.5kg
15 – I AM SUPERMAN (Peter and Paul Snowden) – Andrew Adkins – 10 – 52kg
16 – ROCK (Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes) – TBA – 8 – 52kg
17 – NETTOYER (Wendy Roche) – Michael Poy – 6 – 51kg
18 – YAO DASH (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) – Michael Dee – 11 – 50.5kg
19 – MO’UNGA (Anabel Neasham) – Robbie Dolan – 21 – 49.5kg
20 – FORBIDDEN LOVE (Richard and Michael Freedman) – Dean Yendall – 13 – 49.5kg
21.e – ICEBATH (Brad Widdup) – Jay Ford – 2 – 50.5kg
22.e – WHEELHOUSE (Chris Waller) – TBA – 16 – 49.5kg
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Originally published asDoncaster Boss talks up his Mile claims
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