El Roca Confirmed for 2014 Doncaster Mile

April 1st, 2014

Trainer Trent Busuttin has conceded that while unsure of how El Roca will take to 1600 metres, he is excited by the prospect of tackling the major Group 1 Doncaster Mile on April 12th with a light set of weights.

Trainer Trent Busuttin has confirmed El Roca will line up for the 2014 Doncaster Mile

Trainer Trent Busuttin has confirmed El Roca will line up for the 2014 Doncaster Mile. Photo: Steve Hart

Having returned to the track in what has become typically competitive form, El Roca was confirmed as a definite starter in the Doncaster Mile by Busuttin on Monday following a strong run for third in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

“I’m not sure if he really gets the mile, but you don’t get many chances to get into a Doncaster on this weight” Busuttin told AAP following the announcement.

“I was really proud of him in the George Ryder and it would be nice to get him into a race where he could be ridden a little quieter.”

Finishing outside the places only once in eight competitive race starts to date, El Roca debuted on track with impressive back-to-back victories in New Zealand before finishing a strong second to Éclair Big Bang in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) first-up in Australia and fifth Behind Long John in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) after being blocked for a run on October 12th.

Returning to the track with a two length win over a classy field that included Dissident in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) on February 15th, the exciting Fastnet Rock colt finished runner up in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on March 8th before producing a memorable final straight sprint to find the line only a short nose behind champion Dissident in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) prior to the George Ryder.

“He’s not far off winning a big race” Busuttin added.

“He just hasn’t been able to get one yet.”

Having also been included in nominations for the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) on the same Royal Randwick race card, El Roca is currently featured as equal second favourite with George Ryder champion Gordon Lord Byron in betting markets for success in the 2014 Doncaster Mile at a quote of $9.

Returning to the track with back-to-back victories in the Listed National Sprint (1400m) and Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) most recently, Team Hawkes-trained Messene is currently market leader for the 2014 Doncaster Mile displaying short odds on $3.30.

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