04/20/2013 1:25PM

Randwick Racecourse: Sacred Falls scores at 18-1 in Doncaster Handicap


Sacred Falls, the winner of the Group 1 New Zealand Guineas in 2012, pulled an 18-1 upset in Saturday’s $2,055,000 Doncaster Handicap at Randwick Racecourse in Australia, catching 5-2 favorite Pierro in the final sixteenth of a mile.

Carrying 117 pounds, Sacred Falls closed from the back of the field of 18 in the final quarter-mile. A 3-year-old colt in the Southern Hemisphere, Sacred Falls, who ran about a mile on heavy turf in 1:37.99, was ridden by Tommy Berry for trainer Chris Waller.

Pierro was beaten for the third time in his 14-race career. A Southern Hemisphere 3-year-old who carried 126 pounds, Pierro led in the stretch and finished three-quarters of a length in front of Norzita, a 10-1 shot.

Pierro was so heavily favored in the future book for the Doncaster Handicap that one bookmaker would have paid out in excess of $1.02 million if he had won.

Sacred Falls, a New Zealand-bred by the stallion O’Reilly, has won 7 of 10 starts for the Raffles Thoroughbred Racing Syndicate. The Doncaster Handicap was the first win in Australia for Sacred Falls in his fourth start in the country.

• Waller had a major stakes double Saturday, winning the Group 1 Australian Oaks with Royal Descent, who scored by 10 lengths.

Ridden by Nash Rawiller, who was aboard Pierro, Royal Descent pulled away from nine rivals in early stretch to win the $544,000 race over 1 1/2 miles on turf. A 3-year-old filly in the Southern Hemisphere by Redoute’s Choice, Royal Descent won the Australian Oaks just seven days after winning the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick.

• Godsmejudge, a 7-year-old Irish-bred gelding, won the biggest race of his career in Saturday’s $271,000 Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse.

Ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, Godsmejudge (12-1) led for the final circuit of the race over 4 1/16 miles and won by four lengths over Big Occasion (12-1). Auroras Encore, who won the English Grand National at Aintree on April 6, was pulled up on the final circuit. The race had 24 starters.

Godsmejudge, trained by Alan King, had finished third in a novice steeplechase for amateur jockeys at Cheltenham, England, on March 13 in his preceding start.