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Hartnell Heads Weights For The Star Doncaster Mile

A total of 151 nominations have been weighted for the 152nd running of the $ 3million The Star Doncaster Mile (Group 1) to be staged on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday, 1st April 2017.

Heading the weights is dual Group 1 winner Hartnell (GB), who has been allocated topweight of 58.0kg on a 50.0kg minimum (49.0kg for three-year-olds). Hartnell is the winner of the 2015 Group 1 The BMW (2400m) and the 2016 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) along with a 2nd in the 2016 Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and a 3rd in the 2016 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).

Next in line on 57.0kg is Black Heart Bart, a winner of four Group 1 races ranging from distances of 1200m to 1800m, with three of those wins at Weight-For-Age and one run under the Set weights plus Penalty conditions. Also allocated with 57.0kg are two international entries from Hong Kong, Beauty Only (Ire) and Helene Paragon (Fr); both horses are Group 1 winners in their own country.

An interesting late entry for the Doncaster Mile is Multiple Group 1 sprinter Chautauqua who was allocated 56.5kg and is stepping into uncharted territory having never attempted a race beyond 1400m. However, Team Hawkes and the grey’s connections made the decision to enter the late nomination after his fast-finishing 3rd when first-up in the 1100m Group 2 Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield on February 11.

The Japanese mare Smart Layer (Jpn) is the highest weighted mare on 54.5kg, being the winner of two Group 2 races and at her most recent start ran 2nd to Satono Crown (Jpn) who is one of the best performed horses in Japan. The next highest weighted mares are First Seal and English with 53.0kg, and both bring strong Group 1 form into the famous mile handicap.

Prized Icon and Astern head the three-year-olds and will be asked to carry 53.0kg. Prized Icon is the winner of the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) along with the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) as a two-year-old, while Astern was a dominant winner of the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) along with a 2nd placing in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).

Left: Hartnell - allotted topweight for the 2017 The Star Doncaster Mile. Image by - Steve Hart Photographics

Heading the weights for the three-year-old fillies is Global Glamour and I Am a Star (NZ) with 51.0kg. Global Glamour is a dual Group 1 winner over (1600m) and I Am a Star (NZ) defeated the older mares by winning the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) during the last spring carnival.

2016 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) winner, Sense of Occasion is assured of a start in the 2017 edition of the Doncaster Mile, being exempt from ballot and will carry 51.5kg. Also exempt from ballot is Global Glamour (51.0kg) for winning the 2016 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m). A total of 49 entries have been allocated weight above the minimum. Click here to view all weights – The Star Doncaster Mile weights

- Racing NSW Handicapping Panel

Topweight for Group 1 handicap races Summary: Racing Australia decided on a change to the programming and handicapping of Group 1 handicap events, aimed at producing the best available race for connections and racegoers. The decision mitigates the impact when topweights do not accept to race (due to injury or change in the horse’s program) and weights have to be raised. Racing Australia believes that the raising of weights to only 57kg at acceptance time for Group 1 races rather than 58kg would be more in concert with the lower minimums that separate Group 1 handicaps from other races, and negate marginally excessively high minimum weights if weights are raised at acceptance time. The current wording of AR.103(2) requires the addition of “(57 kilograms for Group 1 handicap races)” to facilitate this decision. Amend AR.103(2) as follows: “(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subrule (1), if at the declaration of acceptances for a handicap flat race the weight allocated to the highest-weighted acceptor (including any extra weight by way of re-handicap or penalty) is less than 58 kilograms (57 kilograms for Group 1 handicap races), or less than a higher weight determined by a Principal Racing Authority, then allocated weights for the race must be increased until the highest-weighted acceptor is weighted at not less than 58 kilograms (57 kilograms for Group 1 handicap races).” Date of Effect: 1 March 2016

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