If it wasn’t for Black Caviar, More Joyous would be acclaimed as the best mare, if not the best horse, in the country.
And now that Black Caviar’s Sydney mission has been accomplished, it will be More Joyous’ time to shine when she takes her place as favourite in the Doncaster Mile.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained four-year-old has not been beaten in Sydney since August 2009 with her only defeat during that time in last year’s Cox Plate when fifth to So You Think.
Her four starts this autumn have netted Group Two victories in the Breeders Classic and Canterbury Stakes and Group One triumphs in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield and most recently the Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Rosehill.
She has 56.5 kilograms in the Doncaster with this to go up half a kilo if last year’s winner Rangirangdoo, who has the minimum topweight of 57kg, doesn’t start.
“She’s thrown in at the weights,” Waterhouse said.
“These good horses nowadays get into the handicaps very well. It’s not like it used to be when the minimum was much lower.
“Now the horses are all so close together in these races.”
Her international rating of 118 compared to Black Caviar’s world best 130 has confused many.
Australia’s representative on the World Thoroughbred Rankings, Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter, said he had submitted a rating of 120 after she won the Queen Of The Turf and hoped that would be the mark she was given when the next ratings were released.
More Joyous is raced by her breeder John Singleton and has won 14 of her 18 starts.
She was at $2 with TAB Sportsbet on Sunday to win the Doncaster with Triple Elegance ($7) and Aloha ($9) the only other runners under double figures.
Rangirangdoo was taken out of the market when he pulled up from his George Ryder Stakes victory with a leg injury trainer Chris Waller thought may have ended his campaign.
He has responded to treatment and is an outside chance to take his place but Waller is favouring the All-Aged Stakes (1400m) at week later.
Waterhouse has won six Doncasters, her most recent with Grand Armee in 2003.
Waller, who trains Triple Elegance, has won two of the past three with Triple Honour in 2008 and Rangirangdoo.
Triple Elegance earned his place in the field and an exemption from penalty with his win in the Group Three Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on March 5.
Since that victory he has had two barrier trial wins and run a slashing third in the George Ryder.
The final field for the Doncaster Mile will be declared on Tuesday morning.