Six days out from the closure of polls, The All-Star Mile has achieved another significant milestone with more than 100,000 votes cast on horses nominated for the world’s richest mile race at Flemington on Saturday, 16 March.
Yesterday afternoon (Monday, 11 February), the 100,000th vote was placed on the official All-Star Mile website, with the voter choosing Dean Krongold’s popular galloper Man of His Word as his preferred runner in the Festival of Racing’s new $5 million showpiece.
After 24 hours of chopping and changing in the top ten, Chris Waller’s rising star The Autumn Sun has overtaken long-time leader Urban Ruler (trained by Chris Munce) at the top of the polls; whilst last year’s AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) winner Extra Brut (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace) currently occupies 10th* place in the public vote.
However, with James Cummings’ two-time Group 1 winner Alizee, who has been dominant in her last two starts and heads the early betting markets for The All-Star Mile, only a handful of votes behind Extra Brut in 11th* place, a lot can still change over the final six days of voting.
Other notable runners who could leap into the all-important top 10 include the 2018 Toorak Handicap (1600m) winner Land of Plenty (currently 12th*), who enhanced his credentials with a tie for second place behind another All-Star Mile nominee, Tony McEvoy’s Manuel (46th*), in the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) last weekend.
Another ‘All-Star’ who performed well at the weekend is Mystic Journey (15th*), one of two Tasmanian-trained gallopers in the top 20 of the votes with Hellova Street currently occupying 19th place.
The pair finished first and second respectively in the Listed Thomas Lyon Stakes (1400m) on Hobart Cup Day, with Mystic Journey showing a devastating turn of foot to earn her fourth consecutive win.
Two of the most popular horses in training, Pat Webster’s multiple Group 1 winner Happy Clapper (16th*) and Chris Waller’s perennial runner-up Tom Melbourne (18th*), could also force their way into the top ten; whilst the training partnership of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young will be hoping Richmond FC’s fanbase can rally round 20th placed Main Stage, whose ownership group includes Dustin Martin and Josh Caddy.
To add further intrigue, The All-Star Mile blackout period will begin at 12pm on Friday, 15 February. Fans will still be able to vote for their horses until the voting officially closes at 12pm on Monday, 18 February, but the leaderboard will no longer be visible to the general public.
The top ten votegetters will be revealed by Racing Victoria (RV) on Thursday, 21 February, with the four wildcards announced on or before Monday, 4 March.
“We have been overwhelmed by the interest shown to date in The All-Star Mile, which has captured the imagination of Australia’s sports fans,” said Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing.
“With just a handful of votes separating Extra Brut in tenth place and Balf’s Choice in 12th, the last six days of the public voting are set to provide twists and tales before the deadline closes next Monday.
“We would encourage anyone who is yet to vote for their ‘All-Star’ to head to the official website and have their say on who runs in the world’s richest mile race at Flemington on 16 March.”
* figures correct at 1.30pm on Tuesday, 12 February