ThoroughBred Racing

Big guns draw favourably for epic All-Star Mile showdown

Big guns draw favourably for epic All-Star Mile showdown

The stage is set for an enthralling fifth edition of the Sharp EIT All-Star Mile this Saturday (18 March) with favoured trio Mr Brightside, I’m Thunderstruck and Alligator Blood all faring well at today’s (Tuesday, 14 March) barrier draw.

 

 

 

Connections of runners in Australia’s richest mile were invited to The Valley to select their barriers for the $5 million showpiece which heads a huge 10-race card at the track this weekend.

Twelve-year-old Ari Molinaro, the son of part-owner Joe Molinaro, randomly selected barrier two for Mr Brightside – one of three runners for trainers Ben and JD Hayes alongside Gentleman Roy (10) and So Si Bon (15).

JD Hayes was delighted with the youngster’s selection for last year’s fourth placegetter and also spoke positively of Gentleman Roy’s barrier which allows the free-striding galloper to build momentum out wide on the track.

Co-trainer Michael Kent Jnr gave a fist pump when senior part-owner Terry Henderson of OTI Racing plucked out barrier five for I’m Thunderstruck who was runner-up to Zaaki in the 2022 All-Star Mile at Flemington.

Pre-race favourite Alligator Blood will jump from barrier seven and co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott will be hoping the crowd favourite can atone for his unplaced effort when favourite in the 2020 All-Star Mile.

 

Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd was another owner on hand to select a barrier, with the AFL great choosing gate 11 for his All-Star hope My Oberon – one of two runners for last year’s winning trainer Annabel Neasham.

Neasham’s other All-Star Mile contender, international globetrotter Laws Of Indices who will be ridden by star Irish jockey Oisin Murphy, has drawn nicely between I’m Thunderstruck and Alligator Blood in barrier six.

The final field of 15 for the All-Star Mile features runners trained in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and New Zealand with Western Australian-owned filly Sheeza Belter the lone three-year-old in the starting line-up.

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained filly, an eye-catching Group 1 third against older horses on Saturday, will be out to emulate the deeds of Mystic Journey who won the inaugural All-Star Mile as a three-year-old filly in 2019.

Pint-sized Tasmanian hero The Inevitable (Scott Brunton) landed barrier three in his pursuit of a seventh straight victory, while local bargain buy Keats (Gavin Bedggood) is set to ensure a fast pace from barrier four.

Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Matt Welsh said: “The field assembled for the Sharp EIT All-Star Mile represents a fantastic blend of horses with established weight-for-age stars, emerging topline talent, the international X-factor in Alenquer, three-year-old filly Sheeza Belter, and wonderful feelgood stories in The Inevitable and Keats.

“The quality of the race is demonstrated by the fact that the average rating of this year’s 15 All-Stars is 108 which is the equal highest in All-Star Mile record alongside the 2021 edition at The Valley which produced an epic finish.

“In addition, the number of horses rated 100 or above has increased from 12 in 2022 to 13 this year and the ingredients are present for another memorable contest with a strong tempo expected around The Valley.

“The All-Star Mile attracts the highest turnover of any race during the Festival of Racing and with the favoured runners all landing good barriers today we expect a number of runners to come in for strong support.

“With an outstanding field assembled, fine weather forecast and the chance for one lucky racegoer to be selected as the Owner Ambassador for Aegon and be in the running to win $250,000, The Valley is the place to be this Saturday.”

The field for the 2023 Sharp EIT All-Star Mile, which will be run at 4.20pm (AEDT) on Saturday, 18 March, at The Valley is as follows:

NO | HORSE | WT | Trainer | Jockey | Barrier

1 | I’m Thunderstruck (VIC) | 59 | Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr) | Daniel Moor | 5

2 | Alligator Blood (NSW) | 59 | Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott | Blake Shinn | 7

3 | Cascadian (NSW) | 59 | James Cummings | Ben Melham | 14

4 | Mr Brightside (VIC) | 59 | Ben & JD Hayes | Luke Currie | 2

5 | So Si Bon (VIC) | 59 | Ben & JD Hayes | Harry Coffey | 15

6 | Laws Of Indices (NSW) | 59 | Annabel Neasham | Oisin Murphy | 6

7 | Aegon (NZ) | 59 | Andrew Forsman | Blaike McDougall | 8

8 | Alenquer (VIC) | 59 | Michael Moroney | Jordan Childs | 9

9 | The Inevitable (TAS) | 59 | Scott Brunton | David Pires | 3

10 | My Oberon (NSW) | 59 | Annabel Neasham | Jamie Mott | 11

11 | Gentleman Roy (VIC) | 59 | Ben & JD Hayes | Daniel Stackhouse | 10

12 | Pounding (VIC) | 59 | Peter Moody | Luke Nolen | 12

13 | Nugget (VIC) | 59 | Ciaron Maher & David Eustace | Damien Oliver | 1

14 | Keats (VIC) | 59 | Gavin Bedggood | Craig Newitt | 4

15 | Sheeza Belter (NSW) | 54 | Peter & Paul Snowden | Willie Pike | 13

16 | The Fortune Teller (1EM) | 56 | Ciaron Maher & David Eustace | TBC | No barrier drawn

(Note: If The Fortune Teller gains a start it fills the barrier of the scratched horse)

 

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