Racing fans throughout Australia and New Zealand have been given the chance to hand pick 10 of the runners for the third edition of the richest mile event in the world.
Voting opened on Friday for the $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at The Valley on March 13, with the public getting their chance to pick their runner up until voting closes on February 14.
Wildcard spots remain for five horses to make up the 15-horse field.
A total of 81 horses remain in contention after original nominations Ain’tnodeeldun and Glenfiddich were withdrawn through injury.
With the likes of Group 1 winners Russian Camelot, Arcadia Queen, Verry Elleegant, Melody Belle, Probabeel, Sir Dragonet, Behemoth and Ole Kirk joining inaugural winner Mystic Journey and cult hero The Harrovian in the list of nominations, fans face a difficult task as they place their vote for the horse they believe will succeed last year’s winner Regal Power as The All-Star Mile champion.
Regal Power’s superb victory earned his owner ambassador, Tegan Abercrombie, a cool $250,000 as she went home with the first prize in the 2020 All-Star Mile fans competition. That life-changing sum of money will again be up for grabs this year, with every validated voter getting the chance to represent their ‘All-Star’ on raceday and share in the $500,000 prize pool.
“The official opening of voting marks the start of what is always one of the most fascinating and exciting aspects of The All-Star Mile,” Greg Carpenter, RV’s Executive General Manager – Racing, said.
“Over the past two years we’ve seen a number of owners and trainers come up with very clever and creative ways to drum up support for their horses, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what this voting period brings us.
“While we received slightly fewer nominations this year compared to 2020, with 23 Group 1 winners and 27 $1 million-plus earners, the sheer quality of entrants would have to be the highest we’ve ever received, and so it won’t be an easy task for voters to make a decision of which horse they choose.
“We’ve seen previously that the voting period can inspire great parochialism, so we would encourage our friends in New Zealand and sports fans in every state of Australia to get behind their equine heroes and vote them into what promises to be another exceptional edition of the world’s richest mile at The Valley on March 13.”
The first two editions of The All-Star Mile attracted a combined total in excess of a quarter of a million validated votes, with Queensland rallying behind Alligator Blood to make him the number one last year with over 18,000 votes.
Following feedback received after The All-Star Mile 2020, for the first time this year voters will be allowed to cast a vote for another horse if their initial selection is withdrawn from the race prior to the closure of voting.
Verry Elleegant (NZ), picture Racing Photos