Doncaster Handicap Race Information

The Doncaster Handicap, held at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia, is the most famous mile on the Australian racing calendar. The Group One race, for three-year-olds and up, is contested over 1600 metres and  has a current prize of $4,000,000.

  • Race Type: Group 1
  • Distance: 1600 metres
  • Conditions: Open handicap, 3YO & upwards
  • Track: Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, New South Wales
  • Prizemoney: $4,000,000
  • Date: Saturday 6 April 2024

Doncaster Handicap Race History

See the 2024 Doncaster Mile Preview and results.

See the 2023 Doncaster Mile Preview and results.

See the 2022 Doncaster Mile Preview and results.

See the 2021 Doncaster Mile Preview and results.

One of the two great mile handicap races run at Randwick, the Doncaster was first staged in 1866. It is the April counterpart of the $600,000 Epsom Handicap, staged in October. Each race takes its name from a famous English racecourse.

Many great horses have won the Doncaster, including several who have also won the Epsom. Super Impose created history in 1990 and 1991 by becoming the only horse to win both races on two occasions.

The winners of the following races are exempt from ballot for the 2024 running: 2023 Flight Stakes, 2023 Ingham (Villiers) Stakes, 2024 Chipping Norton Stakes, 2024 Randwick Guineas, 2024 Canterbury Stakes, 2024 Coolmore Classic and 2024 George Ryder Stakes.

The winners of the following races are exempt from ballot and penalty for the 2023 running: 2024 Ajax Stakes and 2024 Doncaster Prelude.

The winner of the 2024 race is exempt from ballot for the 2024 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Useful Facts

Last mare to win: Nettoyer (2020)

Last 3YO to win: C&G – Brutal (2019); Filly – Sunline (1999)

Multiple winners: Mr Brightside (2022 & 2023); Sacred Falls (2013 & 2014); Sunline (1999 & 2002); Pharaoh (1994 & 1995): Super Impose (1990 & 1991); Fine And Dandy (1961 & 1963); Tudor Hill (1959 & 1960): Slogan 11 (1956 & 1957); Blue Legend (1946 & 1947): Mildura (1940 & 1941).

Fastest time (1600m): Happy Clapper (2018) 1:33:17

Interesting trivia: In 1869 Falcon finished 1st and Circassian finished 3rd but both were disqualified as the jockeys were fighting during the race.

Past winners of the Doncaster Handicap

Five horses have won the cup twice in recent years. Mr Brightside won in 2022 and 2023 – 2023 was on a Heavy 9 track. Sunline won in 1999 and 2002 while Sacred Falls, Pharaoh and Super Impose won back-to-back races. Sacred Falls won in 2013 and 2014, Pharaoh won in 1994 and 1995 and Super Impose in 1990 and 1991. Chris Waller trained the first four past the post in 2014.

Except for one year, the Doncaster Handicap has been held at Randwick Racecourse every year since 1866. That was 1942 when the army took over the track just before the Easter meeting, which was moved to Rosehill Racecourse, also in Sydney.

Dundee won the first running of the race. He captured the Epsom Handicap the previous year and as a result holds a place in Australian horse racing history.

In 1871 there was the only dead heat ever in the race with Sir William and Lottery sharing the prize of what would eventually become the most sought after handicap race in the southern hemisphere.

Year Winner Second Third
2024 Celestial Legend Pericles Militarize
2023 Mr Brightside My Oberon Nugget
2022 Mr Brightside I’m Thunderstruck Icebath
2021 Cascadian Icebath Dalasan
2020 Nettoyer Star Of The Seas Brandenberg
2019 Brutal Dreamforce Hartnell (GB)
2018 Happy Clapper Comin’ Through Arbeitsam
2017 It’s Somewhat (USA) Happy Clapper Sense Of Occasion
2016 Winx Happy Clapper Azkadellia
2015 Kermadec Real Impact (JPN) Royal Descent
2014 Sacred Falls Royal Descent Weary
2013 Sacred Falls Pierro Norzita
2012 More Joyous Shoot Out Yosei
2011 Sacred Choice Road To Rock Bold Glance
2010 Rangirangdoo Road To Rock Brilliant Light
2009 Vision And Power Black Piranha Whobegotyou
2008 Triple Honour Casino Prince Pinnacles
2007 Haradasun Mentality Divine Madonna
2006 Racing To Win Johan’s Toy Bentley Biscuit
2005 Patezza Court’s In Session Danni Martine
2004 Private Steer Grand Armee Ambulance
2003 Grand Armee Dash For Cash Boreale
2002 Sunline Shogun Lodge Defier
2001 Assertive Lad Shogun Lodge Weasel Will
2000 Over Sunline Zastov

From the archives:

Doncaster Handicap Preview & Tips 2020

Track: Slow    Weather: Fine

There is a full field of 20 runners plus four emergencies for the $1,500,000 The Star Doncaster Mile. Normally prizemoney for this race is $3,000,000 but it has been halved for 2020 as racing deals with the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. The betting market is very open with early favouritism shared between two runners. Melody Belle has ten Group 1 wins to her credit and resumed for 3rd in the Futurity Stakes then ran on strongly for 3rd in the All Star Mile after being held up and she should go very well. Brandenburg is a three-year-old colt with 2 wins and 7 places from 10 starts who drops 5.5kg from his last start and has lots of admirers. Third favourite is Super Seth who has 5 wins from 10 starts, including the Caulfield Guineas.

Shared Ambition has won four of his five starts in Australia, winning the Randwick City Stakes last start, and is one of 9 runners for Chris Waller. Mister Sea Wolf is another Waller runner that will be ridden by James McDonald and ran 3rd in the Canterbury Stakes when resuming. Imaging won the Group 2 Ajax Stakes last start and has a very good strike rate. Prince Fawaz showed a return to form finishing a close 2nd in the Rosehill Guineas last start. All other runners are currently 16 to 1 or longer.

The following are the top 4 selections from our tipster panel for this years race.

Jo’s Tips
1 Melody Belle
19 Brandenburg
17 Shared Ambition
12 Imaging