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The Championships are just around the corner for 2017 and as this Carnival gathers further momentum, so does the international contingent and this year the Doncaster Mile (1600m) has attracted several strong nominations from overseas raiders.
Here at Justhorseracing, we’ve put together a preview of the key international runners that are indeed nominated for the Doncaster Mile 2017 (1600m).

Ancient History

Breeding: Shamadarl x Antiquities
Trainer: John O’Shea
Nationality: Australia
Career Stats: 6: 2-0-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2000m
Career Best Win: Le Pacha Stakes (2000m), September 26 2016, Maisons-Laffitte, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 4: 2-0-0
Wet Track Stats: 2: 0-0-1
Championships Target Race: Doncaster Mile/Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Short Summary: Import for Godolphin and John O’Shea that does create interest.

 

Second Last Start (1st)- Le Pacha Stakes (2000m), September 26 2016, Maisons-Laffitte, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Had been a disappointment at the trip previously but gee he found plenty when asked by Barzalona and kicked on strongly to beat the more fancied stablemate Rajkumar in a gritty win but on the flip side, the time was very poor.

Replay Not Available
Last Start (6th)- Group lll Darley Stakes (1800m), October 8 2016, Newmarket, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface.
He looked to have the nice sit out the back under Barzalona and did appear to travel nicely. Presented widest 800m out and was looking as if he was going to be right in the finish but as soon as he came off the bit, the wheels started spinning and he couldn’t come on.
Replay Not Available

Final Summary: I think this is more of a nomination because he is an import for Godolphin and it just wouldn’t be right if he was nominated. I think at the moment, he is just a benchmark/Listed horse. But as we have seen with some imports that land with O’Shea, they go to another level.

 

Beauty Only

Breeding: Holy Roman Emperor x Goldendale
Trainer: Tony Cruz
Nationality: Hong Kong
Career Stats: 26: 8-5-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1400m/1810m
Career Best Win: Hong Kong International Mile (1600m), December 11 2016, Sha Tin, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 25: 8-5-3
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Championships Target Race: Doncaster Mile
Short Summary: Best miler Hong Kong at the moment, ready to tackle Australias premier mile race.

 

Second Last Start (1st)- Hong Kong International Mile (1600m), December 11 2016, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Cnfirmed his status a the best miler in Hong Kong with a brilliant win from the back. Aided of course by the strong tempo but he just kept finding under Purton and held off the unlucky Helene Paragon, but as you will next start, that horse got revenge.

Last Start (5th)- Group l Stewards Cup (1600m), January 30 2016, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface.
It was an afternoon where making ground out that wide on the track was difficult to do, and he was back and had to come the widest whereas those around him saved ground near the inside so his effort in defeat was very good I thought and you could make the case that if he got the same run as Helene Paragon, switch the result.

Final Summary: I think it will depend on what weight he gets. If it’s something around 58kg or more, I doubt he can win because I don’t think the topweight, no matter how good they are, can beat some of these real up and coming youngsters. Still, he is a high class animal who loves the mile and is the best Hong Kong has to offer.

 

Floodlight

Breeding: Medaglia D’Oro x Flashing
Trainer: John O’Shea
Nationality: Australia
Career Stats: 8: 3-1-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2000m
Career Best Win: Listed Grand Prix du Lion d’Angers (2000m), July 16 2016, Le Lion d’Angers, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 2: 2-0-0
Wet Track Stats: 6: 1-1-1
Championships Target Race: Doncaster Mile/Queen Elizabeth
Short Summary: Import for Godolphin who has the pedigree/talent/scope to be a force…but perhaps not this Autumn.

 

Second Last Start (4th)- Prix De Tourgeville (1600m), August 2 2016, Deauville, Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

You will get a laugh with the commentary, but that aside, this horse was pretty good in defeat I thought given they didn’t go hard in front, and as you can see, the inside was clearly not the spot to be yet he made up really good ground late to run an eye catching fourth.

Last Start (3rd)- Group lll La Coupe de Maisons Laffitte (2000m), September 17 2016, Maisons Laffitte, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface.
First four minutes of the replay is chasing away the ducks…why I don’t know, but back to the race. Floodlight had the nice sit 1/1 until about the 800m when the horse in front of him got cover and he was left exposed, which probably was against him given the tempo of the race. Never really threatened to win but stuck on okay in defeat.

Final Summary: The form around him is okay without being great. He does fit the profile of a Godolphin import. Showing promise, has room for scope and improvement, get the speed in his legs in Australua under O’Shea. Will be very interesting to see what level he can reach. A Doncaster? Perhaps not, but still a nice horse.

 

Giant Treasure

Breeding: Mizzen Mast x Palisade
Trainer: Tony Cruz
Nationality: Hong Kong
Career Stats: 23: 5-2-4
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1400m/1609m
Career Best Win: Stewards Cup (1600m), January 31 2016, Sha Tin, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 21: 4-2-3
Wet Track Stats: 2: 1-0-1
Championships Target Race: Doncaster Mile
Short Summary: Grand miler from Hong Kong. But a level or two below Beauty Hero.

 

Second Last Start (11th)- Hong Kong International Mile (1600m), December 11 2016, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
Got back near last in the run under Soumillon and the horse just didn’t respond as well as he can. To be fair, he was okay through the line but considering he had a cheap run near the inside and seemingly had every chance, he was disappointing.

Last Start (7th)- Group l Stewards Cup (1600m), January 30 2016, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface.
Looked to have every chance with Neil Callan steering. He had the horse perched up three wide with cover and ready to pounce but as soon as he peeled, Tommy Berry on Helene Paragon shoved into the clear and that perhaps took the stuffing out of Giant Treasure, who couldn’t go on after that.

Final Summary: As I said, very good miler with a great record over there. I am just not sure he is going well enough to win this race. Had it been 12 months ago, I would have said he’s right in the game as a threat. Just not sure in 2017 if I can see him winning a Doncaster.

 

Helene Paragon

Breeding: Polan x High Zhaff
Trainer: John Moore
Nationality: Hong Kong
Career Stats: 16: 6-3-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1400m/1800m
Career Best Win: Stewards Cup (1600m), January 30 2017, Sha Tin, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 14: 5-3-0
Wet Track Stats: 2: 1-0-1
Championships Target Race: Doncaster Mile
Short Summary: The current form miler in Hong Kong with the runs on the board.

 

Second Last Start (2nd)- Hong Kong International Mile (1600m), December 11 2016, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
You could make a very strong case that he should won this day. Just got badly held up at the top of the straight when appearing to have plenty to offer and by the time Nash got clear on him, Purton on Beauty Only was full of momentum and off and gone for the prize. Desperately unlucky.

Last Start (1st)- Group l Stewards Cup (1600m), January 30 2016, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface.
He deserved a Group l win in Hong Kong, and he got it here, aided by a 12/10 from Tommy Berry. He had the position in a lovely spot, touch better than midfield one off the fence. Once he saw Giant Treasure peel, he shoved that horse out and though he took a couple of strides to get going, he powered to the front and it was race over.

Final Summary: He ran very well in the 2015 Hong Kong Derby at 2000m, so the mile at Randwick should suit him perfectly, he has scope/upside and his racing style will just be ideal for Randwick. If they come over here, he’s one of the hardest to beat.

 

Joyful Trinity

Breeding: Zanzibari x Bargouzine
Trainer: John Moore
Nationality: Hong Kong
Career Stats: 15: 4-3-4
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1400m/1600m
Career Best Win: Group lll Celebration Cup (1400m), October 1 2016, Sha Tin, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 14: 4-3-3
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-0-1
Championships Target Race: Doncaster Mile
Short Summary: Been a bridesmaid at the top level for a little while now. Time for him to stand up.

 

Second Last Start (3rd)- Group lll Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m), January 1 2017, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
Not sure he would have won, but for mine, he should have definitely run second. Just had no luck in the straight when appearing to travel well and by the time he got the split, Moreira on Blizzard was off and gone for the prize. Sound effort though to run third under the circumstances.

Last Start (2nd)- Group l Stewards Cup (1600m), January 30 2016, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface.
Given a very sweet steer by Mosse, trucking up three wide with cover and when he peeled off the back of Giant Treasure, he did look the winner but he just couldn’t quite get past Helene Paragon and on the line, that horse was comfortably holding Joyful Trinity on the line for a dominant win. Joyful Trinity was very good in second.

Final Summary: He is knocking on the door to win a major, no doubting that. But here, I just feel that Helene Paragon and a couple of others have the wood on him. He’ll run well, but I don’t think he can turn the tables on the stablemate.

 

Meiner Honey

Breeding: Matsurida Gogh x Brian Honey
Trainer: Hironori Kurita
Nationality: Japanese
Career Stats: 12: 3-2-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2000m
Career Best Win: Group lll Challenge Cup (1800m), December 10 2016, Hanshin, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 11: 2-2-1
Wet Track Stats: 1: 1-0-0
Championships Target Race: Doncaster Mile
Short Summary: Very capable Japanese runner who has the right credentials, and the class, to threaten in a Doncaster.

 

Second Last Start (1st)- Group lll Challenge Cup (1800m), December 10 2016, Hanshin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Shibata had the horse in a good spot, just off the speed, before presenting it wider on the turn and he let down strongly over the concluding stages to win narrowly but impressively. Somewhat of a surprise victory for punters given he started $15 but he won well and the clock backed him up.

(Replay Unavailable)

Last Start (5th)- Group lll Kyoto Kimpai (1600m), January 5 2017, Tokyo, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface.

He is leading them up in the green colours. Did a pretty good job in defeat I thought given he was ridden perhaps a tad upside down but he fought on strongly to be beaten a couple of lengths in really good time. Form out of the race does look to be quite strong going forward, so it can be trusted.

 

Final Summary: The old saying with the Doncaster is that you need a 2000m horse to win the contest, and this horse does give the impression he run out a very strong Randwick mile. Does he have the class? Perhaps not, but we know that a B Grade, or even a C Grade Japanese horse can take out Group l races down under.

 

Neorealism

Breeding: Neo Universe x Tokio Reality
Trainer: Noriyuki Hori
Nationality: Japanese
Career Stats: 16: 6-1-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1800m/2000m
Career Best Win: Group ll Sapporo Kinen (2000m), August 21 2016, Sapporo, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 16: 6-1-2
Wet Track Stats: Untried
Championships Target Race: Doncaster Mile/Queen Elizabeth
Short Summary: High class animal with some really good sustained speed that could trouble some of the locals, plus his last win was against one of the all time greats, Maurice.

 

Second Last Start (3rd)- Group l Mile Championship (1600m), November 20 2016, Kyoto, Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

Did a mighty job in defeat. Chased a brutal speed set by the eventual winner Mikki Isle and keep in mind he was first up since August 21. Couldn’t quite get past Mikki Isle and his run ended 150m out until that horse decided to veer out sharply and bump he and Isla Bonita in a controversial finish. The placings stood.

Last Start (9th)- Group l Hong Kong International Mile (1600m), December 11 2016, Sha Tin, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface.

Did some work the first 400m but eventually got outside Beauty Flame and from there he looked to control things nicely but they did burn between the 800m-400m and that left him gassed and wide open for the backmarkers, and they rightfully swooped on him but he stuck on well despite being beaten.

Final Summary: I keep coming back to that Sapporo Kinen win where he beat Maurice and there were no excuses for the champ. Neorealism not only beat him but held him comfortably. He brings any kind of form like that here, he’ll give whatever he contests an almighty shake.

 
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