The Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace stable will place all their energies in securing an All-Star Mile berth at The Valley on 13 March 2021 for Ladbrokes Cox Plate champion Sir Dragonet after the withdrawal today of emerging stablemate Junipal.
Junipal, a dual winner over the mile at The Valley, was sitting 16th in voting – eight spots in arrears of Sir Dragonet – when withdrawn from the $5 million feature this afternoon.
The Maher-Eustace stable advised Racing Victoria that Junipal was not forward enough in his preparation to tackle The All-Star Mile 2021 first-up and will now focus on later targets in the autumn.
Whilst it is disappointing news for the connections of Junipal, there is some good news for those who had voted for the horse with a change this year to the terms and conditions of The All-Star Mile owner ambassador competition.
For the first time in 2021, voters can re-cast their vote for The All-Star Mile if their horse is withdrawn prior to the closure of voting, thus getting a second chance at securing a slice of the $500,000 prize pool.
The 833 voters who had put their faith in Junipal will be contacted directly over coming days and advised that they can vote again for another All-Star Mile nominee. Voting closes on Sunday, 14 February.