‘A superstar’ – G1 Doncaster Mile victory for Celestial Legend

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Celestial Legend, a yearling purchase by Avenue Bloodstock with trainer Les Bridge and owner Bon Ho of Legend Racing, continued his rapid ascent with a brilliant display to win the Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on Saturday.

A three-year-old taking on older horses, Celestial Legend overcame adversity in running, weaving through traffic to fly through a gap at the 250 metre mark and run down Pericles and Militarize to win in impressive style.

“He went through a gap that I wouldn’t usually take but a Doncaster means a lot and to do it for Les and his team is terrific,” said jockey Tyler Schiller. “Early I was a bit worried he couldn’t get into a spot. I would have liked to be a little bit further forward but once the 800 came he tracked into the race so well and then it was just trying to find a gap.

“I probably took a gap that I wouldn’t take usually but once he found that clear air, he knows where the line is, he’s very competitive and he wasn’t going to let them beat him today.

“It’s so worth it, I’m absolutely knackered after it, but I can’t thank Les and Mr Ho, the owners and connections, everyone that’s had something to do with the horse (enough), they’ve got him here perfect, I’ve got the light weight and, God, he was so brave.

The Dundeel colt broke through at Group level with a victory in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill in February before following up with a victory over Militarize in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas.

The Doncaster was his fourth win in eight starts and brought his earnings to $3,251,575.

“He had so many horses in front of him but fortunately he got a gap and just took about 100 metres to past them, that’s all he needed,” said Bon Ho. “He’s a remarkable horse. It’s amazing.”

“I just love this horse. I felt the same as I did on Everest day (when Classique Legend won),” said Les Bridge. “This is some horse. He’s unbelievable. I didn’t think he could win – I thought he won’t get out. They just don’t do what he did. He’s a terrific, a superstar.”

Celestial Legend becomes the eighth Group 1 winner for Dundeel, who also supplied the second home Militarize. Celestial Legend was bred by Arrowfield Pastoral Pty Ltd out of Sarraqa, a Snitzel daughter of the Group 1-winning South African mare National Colour. He was purchased for A$220,000 out of the Arrowfield draft at the 2022 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

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