Forbidden Love is narrow favourite to keep the wins coming in Saturday’s Group 1 $3 million The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) with the Richard & Michael Freedman-trained mare coming off a trio of autumn triumphs.

Forbidden Love | Photo: Steve Hart | Horseracing.com.au

Forbidden Love is favourite to keep the wins coming in Saturday’s 2022 Doncaster Mile at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart.

One of four elite level races set to take place on a likely Heavy track at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships this weekend, the Doncaster Mile field features a capacity line-up of class Group 1 gallopers including All Too Hard four-year-old Forbidden Love.

She sits top of the latest Doncaster Mile odds at $5 through Ladbrokes.com.au coming off wins in the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) all on Heavy-rated Sydney tracks.

Success for the punters on Saturday will see Forbidden Love become the second mare in three years to salute after the 2020 upset by Nettoyer.

She is also out to be the first galloper to complete the George Ryder Stakes – Doncaster Mile double since the great mare Winx in 2016.

In career-best form, Forbidden Love winning the Doncaster would also be a fitting end to the training partnership of Richard & Michael Freedman with the brothers going their separate ways after Saturday.

Drawn barrier 14, Forbidden Love comes right back from 57kg to just 50kg in the weights and has last year’s winning jockey Ms Jamie Kah (Cascadian) coming aboard in place of Hugh Bowman on the light weight.

The Randwick track was rated a Heavy (10) at acceptance stage on Tuesday and that will suit the favourite to a tee according to co-trainer Michael Freedman.

“Forbidden Love loves these heavy tracks,” he told Racenet.

“She won her last three starts in very Heavy condition and doesn’t appear to be showing me any signs that the she is feeling the effects of those runs.

“I was having a conversation with my brother, Anthony, the other day about how horses like Forbidden Love that handle the heavy tracks pull up extremely well off them, but for others who don’t get through the going as well, it can take it out of them.

“I’m not too worried about the barrier from the 1600m start at Randwick, but I guess the mile is a little query.

“She has only had two goes at it but she finished a close third in the Empire Rose Stakes in the spring and I thought her run in the Doncaster last year was very good under the circumstances.”

Bowman meanwhile chases his second Doncaster Mile trophy following that on Winx when he partners one of the main dangers this weekend, I’m Thunderstruck, from barrier eight on 55.5kg.

The four-year-old son of Shocking boasts a 50% winning strike-rate from his 12 career starts, but hasn’t won since completing the interstate Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) – $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) double in the spring.

He ran fifth in both the Group 1 CF Orr and Futurity over 1400m at Caulfield first and second-up this time in before catching the eye when second behind champion galloper Zaaki in the $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington last time out.

Whether the Melbourne form lines will be the ones to follow into the Doncaster will be known on Saturday afternoon, but co-trainer Mick Price is confident they’ve got their horse in the right order to challenge the favourite.

“My advice was to train him in Melbourne … rather than go to Sydney and have nothing to use because the grass tracks have all been closed,” Price, who trains in partnership with Michael Kent Jr, told Racenet.

“He’s in good order, if it turns up heavy, heavy well, he won at Sale on the heavy one day and he won really well, no hesitation there, into the Doncaster we go!”

I’m Thunderstruck occupies the second line of Doncaster Mile betting for Saturday at $6.

Rounding out the single-figure fancies at $8 is then the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained three-year-old Converge in barrier three on just 49.5kg.

Brutal with the same weight in 2019 was the last three-year-old to win the Doncaster and there’s money on Frankel gelding Converge to be the next.

Co-trainer Waterhouse boasts an equal-best seven Doncaster Mile wins with her late father Tommy Smith and is hoping for an eighth on Saturday, her first in partnership with Bott.

Converge won the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at the track and distance two back and is out to atone for his distant second to the tearaway winner Anamoe in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) over further last start.

The 2022 Doncaster Mile runs as Race 9 at 5:15pm (AEDT) on Saturday’s 10-race Randwick card.



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.