Every year The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) is a race you have to watch several times to ensure you didn’t miss anything outside of the obvious and the 2021 edition was no different.
Cascadian, ridden by Jamie Kah, produced a 35.03s last 600m to nail a brave Icebath on the line, which was the quickest split in the race so all honours go to the baldy-faced winner.
However, Annabel Neasham would have walked out of Randwick wondering what’s to come from her import Zaaki after he ducked and weaved into sixth. The six-year-old ran the fastest last 200m in the race at 11.87s, marginally ahead of Cascadian’s 11.88s.
Nettoyer deserves a mention too, with a 35.11s last 600m.
A race later, Nature Strip went back-to-back in the Heineken TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) with another blistering display of sustained speed.
James McDonald was content to sit behind Eduardo throughout before quickening brilliantly at the top of the Randwick straight to put his rivals away.
Nature Strip clocked the fastest 600-400 (11.22s) and 400-200 (10.97s) to remind punters that he’s top dog when it comes to the world’s sprinting ranks.
Masked Crusader thundered home into second with an 11.78s last 200m. That was 2.5 lengths faster than the next best, which was Newmarket winner Zoutori (12.16s).
Masked Crusader is now a firm favourite for the All Aged Stakes with TAB Fixed Odds, and rightly so.
Anamoe’s Inglis Sire’s win was never in doubt with the Godolphin colt winning like his odds on quote suggested that he might.
He produced the same sparkling turn of foot as he did a fortnight ago which saw him rattle into second behind Stay Inside in the Golden Slipper.
McDonald cuddled Anamoe into the straight before putting the race away in the space of a hundred metres with an 11.42s 400-200s. He won eased down yet still produced a race quickest last 200m split too (12.31s).
Early indications are that Anamoe will press on to the G1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) where he is currently $1.50 with TAB Fixed Odds. He probably only has to turn up to win that too but Hilal might be just as good a thing to run second off his effort behind Anamoe on Saturday.
Hilal’s last 600m of 35.93s was identical to that of the winner, having to do more work to get into the race from the 600-400m.
Explosive Jack had the best turn of foot in the Bentley Australian Derby (2400m). The race was a sprint home, comparing the last 600m splits across the entire meeting, and he laid down an 11.94s last 200m when the race was there to be won or lost.
Young Werther (12.06s) and Lion’s Roar (12.08s) filled the minors in a tight three-way finish.
Tommy Berry took bad luck out of the equation for Art Cadeau in the Newhaven Park Country Championships Final (1400m), controlling the race from the front.
It was an impossible task for backmarkers given the tempo so throw Charmmebaby (35.27s last 600m) and Wild Rocket (35.50s) into your blackbook for next time.
Meanwhile, the sectional standout from the TAB Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) from an Oaks perspective was the runner up Bargain.
Her 35.15s last 600m from the rear was 2.5 lengths faster than the next best, which was the winner Duais (35.53s) and Bargain was particularly strong through the line with an 11.78s last 200m.
Fastest last 600m: Masked Crusader 34.20
Watch Punter’s Intelligence with Ben Way, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray at 7pm on Tuesday on Sky Thoroughbred Central.