The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
In a huge 2023 All-Star Mile result for Ben & JD Hayes from Lindsay Park the progressive Mr Brightside put his hand up as the season’s new weight-for-age star in Melbourne defeating Godolphin veteran Cascadian and little Tassie star The Inevitable in a great fifth edition of the $5 million feature at The Valley.
The now five-year-old son of Bullbars was just out of the money when fourth at big odds behind Zaaki at Flemington in last year’s event.
After a big 12 months Mr Brightside was too strong at Moonee Valley putting in a dominant display to secure this year’s All-Star Mile off a good ride by the currently Hong Kong-based Luke Currie.
Currie picked-up the late ride on the eventual All-Star Mile winner replacing the injured Craig Williams who is recovering from shoulder surgery following his fall from Dubenenko in a horror Flemington fall last weekend.
Mr Brightside won the Doncaster Mile with a light weight in Sydney following last autumn’s All-Star Mile race, and he presented fit third-up a more mature galloper back in Victoria on Saturday.
He was good last start when runner-up to this year’s All-Star Mile favourite Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and was able to go one better up to 1600m in the big rematch.
“I’m still pinching myself. It’s just a huge thrill,” co-trainer JD Hayes told Racing.com.
“This horse is just a beautiful animal. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he tries so hard.
“It was a 10/10 ride by Luke Currie and condolences go out to Craig, he put so much work into him, we had him right on the right day and unfortunately one thing went the other way with a fall but it was a 10/10 steer from Luke.
“We really did feel he had improve from last preparation which he had to to win a race like this.
“He seemed to just go from a boy to a man. He’s really cemented himself in the senior side I reckon.
“That improvement that you’ve seen for him to come out and beat the likes of Alligator Blood, they’re very hard horses to get past and he found a way today.”
It was an action-packed edition of the popular buy-in event at the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit with the pace-maker Keats rolling at a high tempo ensuring a speedily run race.
Things got a little messy on the home turn with horses looking for runs, but Currie came back and picked up the big prize saving ground on the eventual winner.
Mr Brightside relished the speed in the race and was relaxed off the hot pace before coming home strongly down the outside and holding off the challengers for a half-length victory in a nearly track record time of 1 minute 34.47 seconds.
“My horse geez when he corned, I knew he was in for the fight and he was too strong today,” Currie said.
“It’s nice to come here and be able to pick off a big winner for the Hayes’ boys.”
It wouldn’t have been a feature mile win in Australia without James Cummings‘ rising nine-year-old Cascadian ($21) who was terrific in his first run at Moonee Valley to finish second at a big price.
In third rounding out the All-Star Mile trifecta was then Scott Brunton‘s popular horse from the Apple Isle, The Inevitable ($19), who came into the event off six straight wins back home in Tasmania.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained favourite Alligator Blood ($2.70F) meanwhile ran a luckless fourth having been caught in horror traffic until the late stages before finishing off well just over a length beaten.
There are plenty of next-up options for Mr Brightside including a potential title defence in the Group 1 $4 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 1.
All-in 2023 Doncaster Mile betting at Ladbrokes.com.au – available in full here – has the reigning champ at $9 with markets led by Chris Waller’s in-form mare Fangirl who placed second again to Anamoe in Saturday’s George Ryder Stakes in Sydney.
2023 The All-Star Mile Results & Finishing Order
|1||4||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben & JD Hayes||Luke Currie||2||59kg||$6.50|
|2||3||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Ben Melham||0.5L||14||59kg||$21|
|3||9||THE INEVITABLE||Scott Brunton||David Pires||0.9L||3||59kg||$19|
|4||2||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Blake Shinn||1.2L||7||59kg||$2.70F|
|5||13||NUGGET (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Damien Oliver||2.2L||1||59kg||$16|
|6||12||POUNDING||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3.7L||12||59kg||$31|
|7||11||GENTLEMAN ROY||Ben & JD Hayes||Daniel Stackhouse||4.95L||10||59kg||$26|
|8||5||SO SI BON||Ben & JD Hayes||Harry Coffey||5.15L||15||59kg||$101|
|9||7||AEGON (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Blaike McDougall||5.9L||8||59kg||$31|
|10||6||LAWS OF INDICES (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Oisin Murphy||6.1L||6||59kg||$11|
|11||1||I’M THUNDERSTRUCK (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Daniel Moor||6.85L||5||59kg||$6.50|
|12||15||SHEEZA BELTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||William Pike||6.95L||13||54kg||$13|
|13||14||KEATS (IRE)||Gavin Bedggood||Craig Newitt||10.2L||4||59kg||$61|
|14||10||MY OBERON (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Jamie Mott||10.95L||11||59kg||$31|
|15||8||ALENQUER (FR)||Michael Moroney||Jordan Childs||14.95L||9||59kg||$31|
|16e||THE FORTUNE TELLER||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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