Gai Waterhouse says victory for More Joyous in Saturday’s $2 million Doncaster would be a crowning moment for the best-credentialled miler in the land.
The glamour mare, who is living in the shadow of Black Caviar, is chasing her sixth Group One and is unbeaten in all three attempts at 1600 metres.
The four-year-old maintained her stranglehold on Doncaster betting when she drew favourably in barrier eight for the time-honoured feature at Tuesday’s barrier draw.
Just a couple of hours earlier, Waterhouse was glowing in her praise after watching More Joyous’ final serious gallop at Randwick.
“She’s Australasia’s champion miler, she’s the best mile horse we have in Australia, winning the Doncaster sort of crowns this preparation and then it will be off for a spell and she’ll come back for the spring in Melbourne,” Waterhouse said.
More Joyous worked solo with regular trackwork rider Steve O’Hallaran aboard, clocking 1:22.4 for 1200 metres with a final 600m in 39 seconds wide out on the course proper while her last 200m was covered in 11.6s.
Only last Saturday the Sydney public was treated when the world’s highest-rated racehorse Black Caviar came to Randwick and didn’t disappoint.
The champion mare received a rousing reception after her stunning TJ Smith Stakes win and Waterhouse hopes the fans get to Randwick again on Saturday to see More Joyous.
“This is a very formidable horse, it’s very hard to come across horses as good,” Waterhouse said.
“And it’s probably a little unfortunate for her that a mare called Black Caviar is racing at the same time. ”
Not even having to carry the topweight (57kg) is a worry for Waterhouse, with Sunline in 2002 the last topweight to win the Doncaster when she carried 58kg.
“(The Doncaster) is right up her alley, she’s very well weighted and she’s got the credentials to do it,” Waterhouse said.
The daughter of More Than Ready hasn’t been beaten in Sydney in almost two years and her chances of extending that certainly were not dented when Nash Rawiller’s wife Sarah selected the mare’s barrier at the draw.
After seeing his wife come up with eight, Sydney’s leading jockey cracked a smile and applauded.
“If I could have come here today and had a choice of barriers it would have been eight, so I’m over the moon with that,” Rawiller said.