DON’T GIVE A DAMN was too classy last start at Rosehill | Article Author: Tom Baddock
Don’t Give A Damn is expected to line up in Saturday’s Country Championship Qualifier at Goulburn as the raging hot favourite but trainer Danny Williams will be looking to bypass the Country Championships Final should the promising gelding also make the field for the Group I Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Williams has had a long term ambition to aim the up and coming galloper towards the Doncaster Mile however, as the rule currently stands, should a horse participate in a Country Championships qualifying race and finish in the top two placings it must take its’ place in the Country Championships Final at Randwick on April 7 – the same day as the $3,000,000 Doncaster Mile.
“I made a very early call before The Everest last year that Don’t Give A Damn gave me the rapport that a good race over a mile on a track like Randwick is what he was really going to be good at and logically the first race that came up was the Doncaster,” Williams said.
“I have made inquiries in regard to whether a Doncaster run would be an option.
“Initially I rang the ATC and I spoke to the stewards and the stewards said, no the rules are he would have to run in the Country Championship Final if he ran first or second in the qualifier.
“However, there has been some communication with Peter V’Landys and he suggested that if you had a horse that qualified for the Country Championships or Provincial Championships – if it was able to make the field for the Doncaster, or any another Group I race, that they’d be sure they would consider anyone to go to that quality of race.
“He didn’t directly say they would allow it but they are certainly open to discuss the situation.
“I think you will find in the rules of the Country Championships and the Provincial Championships that Racing NSW has the right to change the rules at their discretion therefore they can make that process happen if they were to agree.”
Should things go to script, Williams has mapped out a plan to qualify Don’t Give A Damn for the time-honoured handicap.
“Our plan would be to see how he goes Saturday and if we were to win, and win in good style, the horse may go on to something like the Ajax Stakes – but then once again he might not get a run, so there are a few hurdles to overcome before we even get to that point.
“If he was to make it into the Ajax Stakes and win well then that would certainly mean we would have to put in an application to Racing NSW but at this stage there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then.”
Should Don’t Give A Damn win the Group II Ajax Stakes on March 17 at Rosehill he would be exempt from ballot in the Doncaster Mile and make it into the field with just 50kg on his back.
If defeated then it is unlikely he would make the field on rating points and would have to hope for a less than capacity field to accept for the race.
Despite the long term goal, Williams is fully focused on Saturday’s Country Championship Qualifier and believes we will see an even better performance than Don’t Give A Damn’s first-up win at Rosehill.
“It’s hard to go into discussions whether we go on from the Championships to the Doncaster because we haven’t got the Country Championship Qualifier over and done with yet,” Williams said.
“I think he has taken a step forward from his win at Rosehill, so I’d expect him to be a little better on Saturday.
“We’ve got three or four very good chances – Don’t Give A Damn, Kopi Luwak, Pumpkin Pie and Chewbacca, they are all definitely running.”
Don’t Give A Damn is expected to start an odds-on favourite in Saturday’s qualifier and is currently quoted at $3 for the Country Championships final, while he is as much as $34 for the Group I Doncaster Mile on the same day.
*See Don’t Give A Damn’s last start at Rosehill*