Horse Betting: Gai equals record
More Joyous' winning weight of 57.5kgs is the third highest weight carried to victory by a mare in the history of the Doncaster,
Champion trainer Gai Waterhouse equalled her late father T J Smith's G1 Doncaster Handicap training record by winning the iconic Randwick mile last Saturday with classy mare More Joyous.
The win followed a frustrating week of decision making by both owner John Singleton and trainer as to whether the mare would even run, considering the drenching Randwick had received during the week in the lead up to Saturday.
However as the skies cleared on Friday, and the Randwick track again showed it's remarkable recuperative powers, recovering from a heavy 8 rating on race morning to a dead 5 reading by Doncaster race time.
Under those conditions More Joyous came right back into favour, punters sure that a repeat of her disappointing 11th in the 2011 Doncaster renewal on heavy ground would not be the outcome.
Aided by a brilliant ride from Nash Rawiller, right from the outset More Joyous jumped straight into a winning position behind a leisurely pace.
Upon turning for home and topping the famous Randwick rise, Rawiller produced the wonderful mare down the centre of the track. Under her 57.5kgs she quickly accelerated to chase down the leaders before holding off a late challenge from 2010 Australian Derby winner Shoot Out to win by just under a length.
It was Gai's record equalling seventh win in the G1 Doncaster Handicap and her first since Grand Armee in 2003, quite an amazing performance from a trainer first licensed just 20 years prior. Racing's first lady had also previously won the Doncaster with Pharaoh (1994-5), Sprint By (1996), Secret Savings (1997) and Assertive Lad (2001).
The win took More Joyous' stakes earnings to almost $4 million. She has now won seven Group 1 races: 18 wins overall from a 25 start race career.
Amazingly, of those 18 wins, 17 have been in Stakes races (Group or Listed) placing her third highest for a mare behind Sunline (29) and Black Caviar (18). Also with seven Group 1 race victories, she is now the third highest Group 1 winning mare behind Sunline (13) and Black Caviar (9) since the Group classification system was introduced in Australia in the 1979/80 season.
More Joyous' winning weight of 57.5kgs is the third highest weight carried to victory by a mare in the history of the Doncaster, with Sunline (58kgs, 2002) and Cuddle (59kg, 1936) the only two to have carried more weight.
In assessing the merit of the victory, a Timeform rating of 128 was placed on the performance, a figure substantiated by the form and ratings profiles of the runners going into the race as well as a detailed historical analysis of the Doncaster itself.
At that level, More Joyous now rates alongside champion New Zealand mare Sunline as the two highest-rated winners of the Doncaster in the last 25 years. Sunline rated 128 winning the 2002 renewal in a close finish from Shogun Lodge, her second win in the prestigious mile having taken the 1999 renewal as a three-year-old (Timeform rated 125) and also running second in 2000 (Timeform rated 127).
It is likely More Joyous will finish her Autumn campaign in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2000m at Randwick this Saturday before spelling and a second attempt at the G1 Cox Plate during the Spring.
Connections have reportedly turned down an invitation to run in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in favour of a Cox Plate bid.