Godolphin import Cascadian is not a confirmed runner in the Doncaster Mile despite winning the Group 3 $160,000 Chandon Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill today.
Cascadian was way down in the order of entry with 53.5 kg for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championships on April 4 and even though the winner of the Doncaster Prelude is exempt from the ballet and penalty for the feature 1600m race, trainer James Cummings said that he might run not him at Randwick next Saturday.
“There is no guarantee we will run him but he is absolutely flying, I had a really good feeling he was coming to a peak this preparation. He was ready to run a big race,” Cummings said.
“This is so similar to what he showed us in his first campaign in Australia. He just got better and better and by the time he got to the end of his campaign he was up to Group 1 level. He finished third in the Cantala off a terrible draw in the spring and the Doncaster might appear imminently winnable for him if he is in this sort of form in seven days.”
Cummings was happy to see James McDonald settle Cascadian ($6) near the tail of the field before weaving a passage in between runners to gain a narrow winning margin on the line.
In a tight finish, Cascadian got the judge’s decision by a head from Mask Of Time ($18) with the winner’s stablemate Gaulois ($8.50) just over a lengths away in third spot.
The Chris Waller trained Star Of The Seas was sent out as the $4.20 favourite but could only manage to finish seventh after settling in the second half of the field in the early stages.
“James (McDonald) came out to us and said “I can’t try and do what I did on Pohutukawa in the last” and I was more than happy to see the horse go back and weave through,” Cummings said.
“Thank goodness Gaulois went as well as he did because if he didn’t find at the 250m, then Cascadian would have been in a world of trouble. The tectonic plates shifted for him, he burst through and savaged the line.”
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have wound Cascadian’s Doncaster Mile’s price in from $26 to $14 after his win in the Doncaster Prelude.