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Forecasting the All-Star Mile field

2 years ago

Racing Victoria (RV) will on Thursday morning reveal the field for the inaugural running of the $5 million All-Star Mile.

A field of 14 will face the starter at Flemington on March 16, with 10 runners decided by public vote and four chosen as 'wildcards' by RV officials.

To be eligible for the All-Star Mile, horses must have an official RV handicap rating of 70 at the close of nominations.

Given the methodology of the make up of the field, it's likley that some of the runners will be beaten out of sight.

You can't knock these horses' connections, though; they have played the system, and with such great prize money on the table (sixth to last pockets $90,000), it would be negligent of them to pass on the opportunity to take their place in the field.

Ahead of the announcement, we list who we think will make the field and comment on their prospects.

1 – URBAN RULER
(Trainer: Chris Munce)

He sat atop the leaderboard at the time it was blacked out (72 hours prior to voting closing) and, sadly, looks certain to make the field.

His first-up run at Doomben on February 9 was shocking (beaten 8.15L), he hasn't won since October 2017, and will be grossly outclassed.

The ambulance may beat him home.

2 – GRUNT
(Trainer: Mick Price)

Grows a leg when he runs at Flemington (he's won two Group 1s and a G3 there) and should make his presence felt.

One of the 10 that should get in via public vote that deserves to be there

Big chance.

3 – BALF'S CHOICE
(Trainer: Ryan Balfour)

Another horse that will finish at the rear of the field.

At his most recent run, in the Listed Birthday Stakes at Morphettville last Saturday, the six-year-old finished seventh, beaten 4.2L by Wasabi Bob!

He's simply not up to it.

4 – ALIZEE
(Trainer: James Cummings)

She's a deadset star, this mare, and her win in the G2 Expressway Stakes on February 2 was devastating.

She will take a stack of beating in Saturday's G1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield, and is a serious All-Star Mile player.

5 – FOUNDRY
(Trainer: Terry Kelly)

Would be a live chance in this race – if it was 2014!

He's nine years old and his best is well and truly behind him.

No.

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6 – MR MONEY BAGS
(Trainer: Robbie Griffiths)

With a rating of 82 and a career-best win in the $120,000 Silver Bowl handicap, Mr Money Bags manages to enter the field without much ado.

The Written Tycoon gelding has been well-fancied in his past three runs but has failed to deliver for punters.

Would be a mediocre entrant.

7 – MATERIAL MAN
(Trainer: Justin Warwick)

Western Australian visitor who boasts a G2 win and three victories at Group 3 level.

Has also been runner-up on two occasions at the highest level in WA so it would be nice to see him represent the West.

His run in the C.F. Orr at Caulfield earlier this month was full of merit.

The father-daughter combination of trainer Justin Warwick and jockey Lucy, doubled with ownership of cancer survivor Michael McDermott, is a heartwarming story.

8 – MAN OF HIS WORD
(Trainer: Dean Krongold)

Just six wins from 40 starts and hasn’t saluted since December 2016.

While his late sectionals last weekend at Flemington were the best of the day, the six-year-old isn’t a horse that sparks your imagination.

Dean Krongold only has a small stable so it would be a feel-good story, but based purely on performance, he leaves a lot to be desired.

9 – MOSS 'N' DALE
(Trainer: Peter Gelagotis)

One of the favourites of the Gelagotis stable.

He has a winning percentage of just over 43 which includes a G3 victory in the Craven Plate at Randwick in October last year.

Isn’t a G1 horse, but he isn’t Robinson Crusoe in this field.

10 – EXTRA BRUT
(Trainer: Hayes/Hayes/Dabernig)

We have elevated the 2018 Victoria Derby winner in place of The Autumn Sun (who won't be accepting).

His first run for the Maher/Eustace yard in the C.S. Hayes was OK ,but he’ll be much better over the mile.

On ability he makes the cut.

WILDCARDS

11 - HAPPY CLAPPER
(Trainer: Pat Webster)

‘The Clapper’ would be a very popular addition to this field.

Trained by the affable Pat Webster, the mighty eight-year-old has been a colossus on the track his entire career.

Winner of 11 races for prize money in excess of $6.4 million and has also run second to the great Winx on four occasions.

If he were racing at another time he would probably be the best horse in Australia.

12 – AMPHITRITE
(Trainer: Hayes/Hayes/Dabernig)

Exciting three-year-old filly who would be a very welcome inclusion.

Won her fifth race from just 10 starts on Saturday, letting down impressively to claim the G3 The Vanity. She also has the G1 1000 Guineas and G2 Manifold to her name.

The racing style of 'Amphi' is a delight on the eye and she would be a worthy addition.

13 - MYSTIC JOURNEY
(Trainer: Adam Trinder)

We should declare that we're unabashed fans of this gun Tassie filly, and we'll be picketing outside the RV offices should she not receive a wildcard.

She's a winner (eight wins from 11 starts) and she runs time.

The X-factor.

14 – HARTNELL
(Trainer: James Cummings)

He's a fan favourite, has credits in the bank, and is still racing well enough to warrant a spot in the field (his first-up run in the Expressway was OK).

Won a G1 mile (the Doncaster) last April and has triumphed at the top level at Flemington (2016 Turnbull Stakes).

If we're on the money, the following G1 winners will miss out:

  • Land Of Plenty
  • Manuel
  • Redkirk Warrior
  • Le Romain
  • Brave Smash
  • Shoals
  • Malaguerra
  • Shillelagh
  • Best Of Days
  • I Am A Star
  • D'Argento

WIN the saddle cloth of 2018 Caulfield Guineas winner The Autumn Sun, signed by trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald!

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