As the race to claim a place in The All-Star Mile 2021 nears the finish line, connections and voters have just a matter of hours left to see where their horses are placed before a leaderboard blackout starts at 10pm (AEDT) tonight (Friday, 12 February).
Voting for the third edition of the world’s richest mile race officially closes at 11.59pm (AEDT) this Sunday, 14 February, but for the final 50 hours the live leaderboard will not be available to view on the official All-Star Mile website, adding to the intrigue as owners and trainers across Australia and New Zealand make a final pitch for votes before the deadline.
The top 10 votegetters in the public vote will secure a place in the $5 million race at Melbourne’s The Valley Racecourse on Saturday, 13 March, with five wildcards to be added in the coming weeks to deliver a final field of 15 horses.
One lucky voter will be selected to be the owner ambassador for each of the top 10 horses where they’ll get the chance to share in a prize pool of $500,000. The owner ambassador of the All-Star Mile winner will collect $250,000, just as young single mother Teagan Abercrombie did in 2020 when Regal Power prevailed.
The top five gallopers in the public vote, currently led by star Western Australian mare Arcadia Queen, are virtually guaranteed their place; but connections of those horses either just inside the top 10 or on the cusp of jumping into the prime positions face a nervous wait before their fate is determined.
They include pint-sized Still A Star, trained in Tasmania by popular horseman Bill Ryan whose daughter Monica, a part-owner of the four-year-old mare, has been campaigning tirelessly across the Apple Isle to get ‘Minnie’ into the race.
As of 10am this morning, Still A Star was clinging onto 10th place ahead of talented Newcastle galloper Mugatoo in 11th, but the Kris Lees-trained import could well catch the eye of the voting public when he lines up in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick tomorrow (Saturday, 13 February) alongside fellow All-Star Mile nominees Kolding, Dreamforce, Fifty Stars and Funstar.
“After three enthralling weeks the final weekend of voting is upon us, and with the blackout period set to begin tonight we will literally be in the dark as to who makes the final top 10 of The All-Star Mile 2021 until they’re unveiled next Friday,” said Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager - Racing.
“Whilst the leaderboard is blacked out, fans can keep voting for their favourite horse right up until the close of voting on Sunday night. There’s been plenty of twists and turns in voting already and I’m sure there are still some surprises in store before the voting period ends.
“Currently there’s a horse from each state of Australia and New Zealand in the top 10 so we’re encouraging racing fans to get behind their hometown star this weekend and give themselves a shot at the $500,000 prize pool on offer for those voters chosen to become owner ambassadors.
“Importantly, with a number of nominees in action at Flemington and indeed across the country, tomorrow’s race meetings could have a huge bearing on which horses we see line up in the world’s richest mile race at The Valley on 13 March.”
The notable All-Star Mile nominees in action tomorrow include unheralded South Australian Regalo Di Gaetano, who surged into the top 10 this week after garnering the support of Adelaide’s Italian community.
The Richard and Chantelle Jolly-trained galloper returns to action at Morphettville, whilst tomorrow’s Group 1 meeting at Flemington is set to feature a whole host of nominees aiming to make an 11th hour leap into contention.
Western Australian three-year-old Dom To Shoot, named in honour of the West Coast Eagles’ Premiership hero Dom Sheed, will make his Melbourne debut in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) alongside six fellow All-Star Mile nominees in Tagaloa, Mo’unga, Lunar Fox, Grandslam, Embolism and Aysar.
The top 10 votegetters who accept for The All-Star Mile will be announced by Racing Victoria at a special event next Friday, 19 February, with the five wildcard runners later determined by two ‘win and you’re in’ races (Futurity Stakes and Blamey Stakes) and The All-Star Mile wildcard panel.
Votes for The All-Star Mile 2021 can be lodged at allstarmile.com.au