Brightside To Beat Handicapper?

Beating the handicapper is never easy and should be impossible with a horse who has won more than $5 million.

However, All-Star Mile winner Mr Brightside has been provided with a golden opportunity to win consecutive Doncaster Miles, attacking the race as an in-form older horse.

Mr Brightside will carry 55.5kg in this Saturday’s $4 million Doncaster at Randwick, a weight co-trainer Ben Hayes is confident he’ll carry without issue.

The five-year-old Bullbars gelding will carry 4kg below weight-for-age and meet beaten ASM favourite Alligator Blood 2kg better in the weights for defeating him by just more than a length at Moonee Valley.

Weights were released by the Racing NSW handicapping department for the Doncaster Mile ahead of the ASM and Mr Brightside could not be re-handicapped for his Valley victory.

Alligator Blood and Mr Brightside are the only horses in the field carrying more than 54.5kg and six of the past 13 winners have carried 55kg or more, illustrating the cream rises to the top in the Doncaster.

There have been three multiple winners of the Doncaster in the past 30 years. Pharaoh won consecutive Doncasters when rising 2.5kg to 55.5kg as a seven-year-old in 1995, while Sunline successfully carried 52kg as a three-year-old filly in 1999 and then three years later won with 6kg more.

And Sacred Falls rose 3.5kg from his initial 2013 Doncaster victory as a three-year-old colt, with 56.5kg the following year.

Consequently, the jump from 50.5kg of last year’s Doncaster win to 55.5kg represents a historically significant increase.


1995: Pharaoh (55.5kg, First)
1996: Pharoah (57kg, 15th)
1999: Catalan Opening (58kg, 13th)
2000: Sunline (57.5kg, 2nd)
2002: Sunline (58kg, First)
2004: Grand Armee (56.5kg, 2nd)
2006: Patezza (55kg, 5th)
2009: Triple Honour (55kg, 8th)
2010: Triple Honour (52kg, 7th), Vision And Power (55.5kg, 18th)
2012: Rangirangdoo (58kg, 10th)
2014: Sacred Falls (56.5kg, First)
2015: Sacred Falls (58kg, 9th)
2016: Kermadec (57kg, 15th)
2021: Nettoyer (51kg, 9th)
2022: Cascadian (56kg, 9th)

Three-year-old colt Communist is also worthy of mention of beating the handicapper. The Randwick Guineas winner finished sixth, beaten by a length by Anamoe in the G1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).

Eight three-year-olds have finished top four in the George Ryder since 2008. Weekend Hussler (2008) won and didn’t contest the Doncaster as connections had their sights set on the Caulfield Cup later in the year.

Pierro (2013) won as $1.35 favourite and then ran second in the Doncaster as $3.50 favourite with 57kg, greater than the weight-for-age scale would require him to carry.

The six other George Ryder top-four finishers were beaten between a length and 3.5 lengths. Of those, Brutal (second) and Kermadec (third) were placed in the George Ryder before winning the Doncaster with 51kg or less.

Communist carries 49kg with apprentice Tyler Schiller booked to ride, meeting this year’s George Ryder runner-up Fangirl 3.5kg better than their clash when beaten by half a length.

Randwick Guineas runner-up Lindermann then strengthened those formlines by leading throughout in the G1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) a fortnight later.

Fangirl is a wonderful measuring stick for Communist given her consistency on dry ground, which has seen her placed behind Anamoe three times this campaign.

Minus Godolphin’s nine-time G1 winner, Fangirl would have almost certainly won more than one G1 race and be lumped with more weight.

Fangirl and Mr Brightside are separated by 2kg in Saturday’s Doncaster, effectively meeting under weight-for-age conditions.


2009: Whobegotyou – 9th/14 beaten 4.2L in Ryder, 3rd with 54.5kg in Doncaster.
2011: Ilovethiscity – 5th/14 beaten 1.8L in Ryder, 5th with 51.5kg in Doncaster.
2012: Niagara – 12th/17 beaten 4.3L in Ryder, last with 52kg in Doncaster.
2013: Pierro – 1st/12 won by 0.4L in Ryder, 2nd with 57kg in Doncaster.
2014: El Roca – 3rd/15 beaten 1L in Ryder, 9th with 51.5kg in Doncaster.
2015: Kermadec – 3rd/14 beaten 2.1L in Ryder, 1st with 51kg in Doncaster.
2018: Kementari – 3rd/6 beaten 1.6L in Ryder, 10th with 51.5kg in Doncaster.
2019: Brutal – 2nd/8 beaten 3.5L in Ryder, 1st with 49.5kg in Doncaster.
2020: Super Seth – 7th/9 beaten 4.3L in Ryder, 8th with 55kg in Doncaster.
2020: Brandenburg – 4th/9 beaten 1.7L in Ryder, 3rd with 50.5kg in Doncaster.


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