Image credit: Racing Photos
Regal Power and the wizard of the west combine to win The All-Star Mile
Jockey Willie Pike produced a masterful ride on Regal Power to claim the second edition of the $5 million All-Star Mile and, in the process, earn a life-changing sum of money for the WA galloper’s owner ambassador, Tegan Abercrombie.
Pike picked Regal Power over his stablemate Superstorm, also trained in the west by Grant and Alana Williams, and the decision paid rich rewards – but only narrowly as just three-quarters of a length separated the pair at the end of a thrilling renewal of the world’s richest mile race at Caulfield.
Much to the delight of Abercrombie, who was presented with a winner’s cheque for $250,000, Pike made emphatic amends for his ride last Saturday which, by his own admission, may have cost Regal Power victory in the Group 1 Australian Cup (1600m).
Ten-time Group 1 winner Melody Belle finished third for the New Zealand duo of trainer Jamie Richards and jockey Opie Besson, whilst pre-race favourite Alligator Blood ran out of petrol at the end of a long, but brilliant campaign to finish 10th.
Pike’s post-race elation was matched by Abercrombie, who watched the race in a Melbourne CBD venue alongside her fellow owner ambassadors after access to the racecourse was restricted due to yesterday’s announcement by the Federal Government regarding mass gatherings.
The tearful 28-year-old, who won a competition run by Southern Cross Austereo to represent Regal Power, could barely contain her emotions after being presented with a cheque for $250,000 by Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter.
“I’m speechless,” she said.
“This means so much to me, I can buy a house and a car, and take my four-year-old son Tyler on the holiday of a lifetime. It’s unbelievable, I’m still shaking and I’m sure I’ll wake up with a sore head but a big smile on my face. This whole experience has been incredible, I would’ve been happy with $10,000 but to win $250,000 is beyond my wildest dreams.”
Aaron Hay claimed $75,000 on behalf of the Neds syndicate assigned to runner-up Superstorm, who was ridden by Mark Zahra, whilst Bryan Davies will return to New Zealand with $40,000 in his luggage due to Melody Belle’s third place finish.
The Royal Children’s Hospital will also receive $10,000 after Black Heart Bart, running for the Melbourne Racing Club, finished eighth.