Kementari (AUS), Happy Clapper (AUS) and D'Argento (AUS) Lead Saturday's Star Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick In Australia for Berth Into Breeders' Cup Mile
SYDNEY (April 5, 2018) – An automatic starting position in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) will be on the line Saturday at Royal Randwick in Sydney through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series as Kementari (AUS), Happy Clapper (AUS) and D’Argento (AUS) lead a 16-horse field - six of them trained by Chris Waller - for the 153rd running of the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (G1).
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on November 2-3.
Godolphin’s favored 3-year-old Kementari, trained by James Cummings and ridden by Brent Avdulla from post 2, was third, beaten 1 ½ lengths to the Longines IFHA World No. 1 ranked Winx (AUS) in the 7 ½ furlong George Ryder Stakes (G1) over a soft course at Rosehill on March 24. A bay son of Lonhro, Kementari, had won his previous three starts this year, taking the six-furlong Eskimo Prince Stakes (G3) at Randwick on February 10; the 7 furlong Hobartville Stakes (G2) at Roshehill on February 24, and then, on March 10, asserted control of the Group 1 one-mile Randwick Guineas in the last 150 yards to win by 1 ½ lengths as the 7-5 favorite.
Saturday’s race will be the 25th career start for the 7-year-old gelding Happy Clapper, who was runner-up by a half-length to It’s Somewhat (USA, KY) in last year’s race. Trained by Patrick Webster and ridden by Blake Shinn from post 1, the Michael Thomas homebred held a short lead in the George Ryder until Winx passed him with 200 yards remaining, finishing three-quarters-of a length in second at 20-1. Prior to the George Ryder, Happy Clapper, a bay son of Teofilo (IRE), won the 6 ½-furlong Canterbury Stakes (G1) at Randwick on March 10 by 1 ¼ lengths. It was Happy Clapper’s fourth career win at Randwick, which also includes a victory in last September’s one-mile TAB Epsom Stakes (G1).
It’s Somewhat broke Chris Waller’s training streak of four consecutive wins in the Doncaster Mile, having captured the race from 2013-16 with Sacred Falls (NZ) twice, Kermandec (NZ) and Winx. This year, the 3-year-old D’Argento, ridden by Corey Brown from post 16, leads the six Waller-trained runners. Owned by Paramount Racing and Cummins et al, D’Argento, a gray son of two-time Cox Plate winner So You Think (NZ), has won three of five career starts, most recently the 1 1/4 mile, Group 1 Rosehill Guineas on March 24 as the 14-5 favorite. This came after a seventh-place finish in the Randwick Guineas. In January, he won the listed Nelune Foundation Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs. Waller’s other starters are Endless Drama (AUS) (Glyn Schoefield, post 3); Comin’ Through (AUS) (Tim Clark, post 7); Egg Tart (AUS) (Craig Newitt, post 9); Tom Melbourne (IRE), (Kevin McEvoy, post 14) and Mister Sea Wolf (AUS), (Jay Ford, post 16). Comin’ Through and Tom Melbourne finished 1, 2 in the 7 ½-furlong Ajax Stakes (G2) at Rosehill on March 17.
Trainer Darren Weir sends out the 5-year-old gelding Humidor (NZ), ridden by Mark Zahra from post 4, and the 7-year-old Tosen Stardom (JPN), the first and fifth place finishers, respectively, in the 7 furlong Blamey Stakes (G2) at Flemington on March 17. Tosen Stardom, ridden by Craig Williams from post 8, defeated Happy Clapper in the Group 1, 1 ¼- mile Emirates Stakes at Flemington on November 11.
The Doncaster Mile is the first of two “Win and You’re In” races to be run at Royal Randwick this year. Next Saturday, April 14, an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) will be awarded to the winner of the Coolmore Legacy Stakes (G1).
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.?as>
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