Fourteen All-Star Mile nominees will bid to enhance their chances of gaining a place in the world’s richest mile race when they step out at The Valley tonight (Friday, 25 January) and Caulfield tomorrow (Saturday, 26 January).
Tonight’s Group 2 Mortimer Petroleum Australia Stakes (1200m) could hold several clues to the make-up of the final field for The All-Star Mile, with no fewer than six entrants lining up in the $200,000 contest.
Victoria’s leading trainer, Darren Weir, saddles three All-Star Mile contenders in the race, with Land of Plenty currently the best placed of his trio to get a run in the $5 million showpiece at Flemington on Saturday, 16 March.
The five-year-old, already a Group 1 winner over The All-Star Mile distance of 1600m, is currently tenth in the polls with more than 1450 votes; whereas Japanese import Brave Smash (29th place*) and the progressive Fifty Stars (63rd place*) both have work to do in order to climb into contention.
Three-time Group 1 winner Redkirk Warrior is being set specifically for The All-Star Mile by the Lindsay Park training team, who will be hoping their globetrotting eight-year-old can register a first win at The Valley and improve on his current position of 26th* in the voting.
Tony McEvoy’s last-start winner Manuel (56th place*) and Peter Gelagotis’ galloper Malaguerra (66th*) complete the set of All-Star Mile nominees in action under the lights at The Valley tonight.
Tomorrow, the action moves to The Heath, where the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) will be the main focus of attention from an All-Star Mile perspective.
No fewer than seven All-Star Mile entrants will line up in the $140,000 contest, with the Robbie Griffiths-trained Mr Money Bags – currently fourth in the polls with more than 1900 votes* – among that number.
Pre-race favourite Manolo Blahniq (31st in the voting*), Holbien (36th*), Arbeitsam (49th*), Bring Me Roses (76th*), I’m a Princess (102nd*) and Sikandarabad (113th*) will also be aiming to improve their All-Star Mile prospects with a bold showing at Caulfield tomorrow.
In the previous race, the Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap (1700m), red hot favourite Silentz will aim to rack up a third straight win and improve his current position of 40th* in The All-Star Mile voting.
In Sydney, Chris Waller’s enigmatic galloper Tom Melbourne will attempt to end a winless run which stretches back more than 1,000 days in Saturday’s Carrington Stakes (1400m).
Currently just outside the top 50* in The All-Star Mile polls, the eight-year-old would surely attract several votes if he were to win the Listed contest at Royal Randwick – whilst a 12th career runner-up finish would doubtless ensure an even greater spike in the voting.
* figures correct at the time of publication