There may have been no crowd in attendance at Randwick on Saturday but the jubilation that echoed around the post after the Doncaster Mile was run and won could quite possibly have made up for that.
There were highly fancied favourites and champion jockeys and trainers who supposedly had the race by the scruff of the neck.
But jockey James Innes Jnr, trainer Wendy Roche and six-year-old mare Nettoyer all combined to bring up their maiden Group 1 win in their racing careers with a massive upset victory.
And it was Innes’ rival jockeys who shouted out in sheer joy after realising the $41 chance in the race had bloused them all down the outside to win.
Speaking to SEN Track, Innes Jnr described the moment he caught the eye of second placed jockey Sam Clipperton who was aboard the Chris Waller-trained Star of the Seas.
“Obviously there are those high pressure races and you get beat and you're a bit flat about it,” Innes Jnr said.
“I do remember standing up next to Sam Clipperton. He looked at me and it was just anger in his face until realised it was me.
“He’s realised ‘holy crap Jimmy has just won the Doncaster’ and he was the first one to rattle out ‘Jimmy’ and then the field just erupted.
“I think when he yelled that out it let those know in the back of the field who didn't have a good view who won and then it came from all angles.
“It was really special.”
I think it’s fair to say we were all pretty pumped for @InnesJnr riding his 1st G1 winner yesterday!!— Tommy Berry (@TommyBerry21) April 4, 2020
(listen after the post) thank you @7michellebishop for the footage #brilliant pic.twitter.com/a6b28YDmfd
What made the win even more special was the fact Innes Jnr thought he had no chance of winning the race until the 500 metre mark.
He explained the mare only began to hit top gear at the point of the corner and it was here the belief of crossing the line in front started to grow.
“I never thought it was a chance until I got to about the 500,” Innes Jnr said.
"From the minute she left the gates she never touched the bridle and she usually holds onto them (the field) and picks them up through her gears.
"This was really, really odd. I never really felt we were a threat at any stage.
"Then I got to the 500 and it took her 1000 metres to get her up to her top speed and as soon as I hooked to the outside I had it in my head that Wendy was spot on with this horse because we’re going to win a Doncaster!”
The Group 1 win means Nettoyer takes her career prize money tally to a shade over $1.6 million after being purchased for a mere $20,000.
She is currently nominated for both the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy at Randwick this Saturday with the decision on which race she will tackle, if she does back-up, yet to be made.
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