Les Bridge etched his name deeper into Doncaster Mile history, training Celestial Legend to a thrilling victory in the 2024 edition of the prestigious race. This marked Bridge’s second Doncaster Mile win, an incredible feat achieved 39 years after his first triumph with Row Of Waves in 1985.

Doncaster Mile 2024 winner Celestial Legend

Doncaster Mile 2024 winner Celestial Legend was enormous late down the outside to post his third straight win. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Group 1 $4 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships boasted a stellar line-up, but it was the classy three-year-old Celestial Legend who soared to the top.

“This is some horse, believe me,” Bridge declared after the emotional win. “I’ve had a lot of good horses, but this horse is unbelievable.”

Celestial Legend cemented his dominance with this victory, completing a Sydney triple after his prior wins in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes and the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (over 1400m and 1600m respectively).

Following his demanding performance in the Randwick Guineas, Bridge strategically eased him back into training before the Doncaster at the same distance. This proved to be a masterstroke, as Celestial Legend thrived with the weight reduction from 56.5kg to a mere 49kg.

“I knew he hadn’t gone backwards,” Bridge explained. “I just gave him a nice easy trial. I just love the horse.”

A crucial jockey change saw Tyler Schiller take the reins in place of Kerrin McEvoy on the light weight. Schiller executed a masterful ride, coming from an unlikely position to steal the show in a dramatic finish.

The early stages saw Phearson take the lead from a wide barrier, while the top-weighted Think About It made a strong push around the home turn. Another Wil, the Prelude winner, also loomed as a threat entering the straight.

The James Cummings-trained Pericles ($41) emerged as a surprise contender, while Chris Waller‘s three-time Group 1 winner Militarize ($11) displayed his customary fighting spirit, launching a late charge up the inside.

However, all eyes were drawn to the far outside as Celestial Legend ($6.50) unleashed a powerful surge, overtaking Pericles in a heart-stopping photo finish. Militarize continued his consistent run this season by securing third place, adding another top-level placing to his record.

“I didn’t think he could win,” Bridge admitted, still in disbelief. “I thought ‘he won’t get out.’ They just don’t do that, do they? He’s terrific. He’s a superstar.”

2024 Doncaster Mile Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 19 CELESTIAL LEGEND Les Bridge Tyler Schiller 4 49kg $6.50
2 3 PERICLES James Cummings Blake Shinn 0.67L 14 54.5kg $41
3 4 MILITARIZE (NZ) Chris Waller Zac Purton 0.71L 3 54kg $11
4 21e NUGGET (GB) Ciaron Maher Declan Bates 0.75L 7 51.5kg $26
5 22e HINGED Chris Waller Craig Williams 1.91L 12 50kg (cd 51kg) $21
6 8 DETONATOR JACK (NZ) Ciaron Maher Tim Clark 2.1L 1 52.5kg $12
7 18 ANOTHER WIL Ciaron Maher Ms Jamie Kah 2.38L 16 50kg $3.60F
8 13 DEMOCRACY MANIFEST Chris Waller Jay Ford 2.73L 9 51kg $18
9 7 KOVALICA (NZ) Chris Waller Tommy Berry 2.75L 10 53.5kg $20
10 10 RUSTIC STEEL Kris Lees Regan Bayliss 2.88L 5 52kg (cd 52.5kg) 1.0kg $51
11 1 THINK ABOUT IT Joseph Pride Sam Clipperton 3.22L 13 57kg $21
12 15 LOCH EAGLE Kris Lees Dylan Gibbons (a) 3.27L 18 51kg (cd 52kg) $101
13 2 OBAMBURUMAI (JPN) Keiji Yoshimura Damian Lane 3.42L 6 55kg $8
14 9 BERKSHIRE SHADOW (GB) Ciaron Maher Andrew Adkins 3.8L 11 52.5kg $101
15 16 LINDERMANN Chris Waller Zac Lloyd (a) 3.88L 17 50.5kg $16
16 24e PALMETTO (NZ) John Sargent Ms Molly Bourke (a) 3.94L 2 51kg $151
17 23e NAVAJO PEAK David Payne Ms Rachel King 8.82L 15 52.5kg $101
18 12 LADY LAGUNA Annabel Neasham Michael Dee 11.27L 8 51kg $11
19 14 PHEARSON Brad Widdup Ron Stewart 15.45L 19 51kg 1.0kg $151
17 SEMANA Ciaron Maher Andrew Adkins 0
20 SOUTHPORT TYCOON Ciaron Maher Ms Rachel King 0
5 ZOUGOTCHA Chris Waller Craig Williams 0 2.0kg
11 ATTRACTABLE Sara Ryan Reece Jones 0
6 GOLDEN MILE James Cummings Jason Collett 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.