Contenders for the inaugural $5 million The All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 16 are emerging from far and wide with 70 entries received to date from across each state of Australia and New Zealand.
New Zealand’s hottest young talent Te Akau Shark, his multiple Group 1-winning stablemate Melody Belle and Queensland’s emerging three-year-old star Boomsara – one of the favourites for this Saturday’s Magic Millions 3YO Guineas on the Gold Coast – are the latest high profile nominations for the world’s richest mile.
The Jamie Richards-trained Te Akau Shark, part-owned by Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen, is a winner at five of his six starts and created an enormous impression when winning a Group 2 mile by six lengths in his homeland last November.
The Chris Munce-trained Boomsara delivered a similar demolition at his most recent start on 29 December winning the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) by 4.5 lengths.
With one week to go until the closure of nominations for The All-Star Mile at 12 noon (AEST) on 15 January, Racing Victoria (RV) has today released a full list of the entries received to date which includes 12 Group 1 winners, 10 million dollar earners and 20 three-year-olds.
The All-Star Mile is the first race in Australia where fans will determine which horses gain a start with each of the nominees eligible for a public vote.
The top 10 horses in the public vote, which commences on 21 January and concludes on 18 February, will secure a start in The All-Star Mile with the remaining four places in the 14-horse field to be made up of wildcards issued by RV.
RV Executive General Manager – Racing and Participant Wellbeing, Greg Carpenter, is delighted with both the quality and variety of entries received to date.
“It’s a unique mix of entries thus far which will make the public vote most intriguing. Amongst the 70 entries received to date are established Group 1 milers like Happy Clapper and Grunt, dominant sprinters like Redkirk Warrior and Vega Magic, Oaks and Derby winners, 20 three-year-olds and six imports that are yet to make their Australian debuts,” Carpenter said.
“We’re delighted to have received entries from each state of Australia which provides racing fans across the nation the chance to be parochial and vote for their local contender or choose to support their favourite horse.
“We’re equally excited to have received entries from the Jamie Richards stable for New Zealand’s brightest star Te Akau Shark and his classy stablemate Melody Belle who is already a Group 1 winner over the mile. Both horses would be outstanding additions to The All-Star Mile if they can capture the imagination of voters.”
In releasing the entries with one week to go before the deadline, Carpenter noted that nominations for The All-Star Mile had arrived at a different rate to other feature races as connections build their knowledge of the concept.
“Traditionally we see a flurry of entries in the final 48 hours before closure for our major races, but we’re seeing connections get in early with The All-Star Mile to start building publicity for their horses ahead of the public vote,” Carpenter explained.
“The opportunity to chase a start in the world’s richest mile remains alive, although it is fast closing. Those who are yet to nominate have until 12 noon next Tuesday, 15 January to do so with the one-off $500 entry fee to be donated to charity.”