The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott’s star five-time Group 1 winner Alligator Blood is the horse to beat in the $5 million The All-Star Mile race that returns to The Valley on Saturday.
The fifth edition of the hugely popular buy-in event takes place at Moonee Valley for the second time this weekend and the 2023 All-Star Mile field features a typically top-class line-up of weight-for-age champions.
Sitting top of the All-Star Mile odds online at $3 through Ladbrokes.com.au after an impressive first-up Sandown win in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) is All Too Hard six-year-old Alligator Blood.
With winning form up to 1800m and an excellent 1600m strike-rate (5:2-2-0) the $6 million earner is sure to appreciate getting up to the All-Star Mile distance off a winning return.
He received the highest number of public votes for this year’s event, and is now out to reward the punters and atone for his disappointing 10th to Regal Power in the 2020 All-Star Mile at Caulfield.
Alligator Blood was also one of the big winners in Tuesday morning’s official 2023 The All-Star Mile barrier draw coming up with an ideal mid-field gate 7 draw.
Returning for another shot at the race after a brave second to Zaaki in last year’s All-Star Mile results is the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr-trained I’m Thunderstruck also drawing ideally in gate five.
Another genuine miler the five-year-old son of Shocking is also proven at Moonee Valley and is after his first win since the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) when defeating Alligator Blood by a nose at Flemington last September.
He brings in some terrific form lines from last prep including a second to Anamoe in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, and I’m Thunderstruck presents fit third-up on the weekend after a CF Orr fourth and third in the Futurity.
Following the allocation of All-Star Mile barriers I’m Thunderstruck has firmed into $4.80 second favouritism.
Also being kept safe in The All-Star Mile markets this autumn at $5 is Mr Brightside drawn near the inside in gate two for trainers Ben & JD Hayes.
The stable is in excellent form this season including winning the Blue Diamond Stakes with Little Brose, who runs in Saturday’s $5 million Golden Slipper in Sydney, last month.
Bullbars five-year-old Mr Brightside is a 1600m specialist boasting seven wins at the distance from 11 starts and is two-from-three at the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit.
Mr Brightside ran fourth in last year’s race at Flemington before going on to win his next three starts including Sydney’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in the mud and the Group 2 Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley by 4.5 lengths two starts after that.
His lead-up second to Alligator Blood in the Futurity was the ideal trial ahead of the rematch over further this weekend and he must be considered based on his form around these horses.
Other standout All-Star Mile horses this year include James Cummings’ evergreen eight-year-old Cascadian ($15) having his first ever run at Moonee Valley drawn right out in gate 14, European expat and wildcard entry Alenquer ($17) having his maiden run for Michael Moroney down under from barrier nine having last been seen running ninth in the Arc De Triomphe in France back in October, and Peter & Paul Snowden’s Gold Standard filly Sheeza Belter ($18) coming off a close third in Rosehill’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) just last weekend with work to do from barrier 13.
The big omission from the All-Star Mile this year withdrawn yesterday is Peter Moody’s Golden Eagle winner I Wish I Win.
The in-form four-year-old has had two Group 1 sprint placings in Melbourne this campaign when runner-up in the Black Caviar Lightning before a third in last Saturday’s Newmarket Handicap results.
Moody confirmed plans to keep the horse to a shorter distance for the remainder of the autumn with his next-up run now locked in for April 1 at Randwick in Sydney’s Group 1 $3 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
In his place coming in to complete the All-Star Mile field is veteran nine-year-old So Si Bon who drew the extreme outside alley and as such is at 100/1 in the latest markets for his 89th career start.
2023 All-Star Mile Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x214225x43||I’M THUNDERSTRUCK (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Daniel Moor||5||59kg||116|
|2||1x721551x1||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Blake Shinn||7||59kg||117|
|3||1x341154x5||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Ben Melham||14||59kg||113|
|4||x115473x52||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben & JD Hayes||Luke Currie||2||59kg||112|
|5||4235734120||SO SI BON||Ben & JD Hayes||Harry Coffey||15||59kg||98|
|6||9x42833x64||LAWS OF INDICES (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Oisin Murphy||6||59kg||110|
|7||00x6142x64||AEGON (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Blaike McDougall||8||59kg||106|
|8||9x1616x69x||ALENQUER (FR)||Michael Moroney||Jordan Childs||9||59kg||114|
|9||412×111111||THE INEVITABLE||Scott Brunton||David Pires||3||59kg||106|
|10||61x13x16x6||MY OBERON (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Jamie Mott||11||59kg||109|
|11||1x2146x124||GENTLEMAN ROY||Ben & JD Hayes||Daniel Stackhouse||10||59kg||107|
|12||5125821112||POUNDING||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12||59kg||104|
|13||x14x211135||NUGGET (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Damien Oliver||1||59kg||105|
|14||0141210×43||KEATS (IRE)||Gavin Bedggood||Craig Newitt||4||59kg||95|
|15||311x81x783||SHEEZA BELTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||William Pike||13||54kg||108|
|16e||152732×30||THE FORTUNE TELLER||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||0||56kg||77|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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