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Black Heart Bart will be one of the horses in the Futurity Stakes chasing an All Star Mile spot

Confirmed All-Star Mile contenders versus those looking for a start in the $5 million race will clash in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.

Saturday’s Group One race affords the winner a start in the All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield on March 14.

The top three in the market for the Futurity Stakes, Super Seth ($2.80), Melody Belle ($3.10) and Kolding ($3.20), already have their places assured after the announcement on Thursday of the top 10 in the public vote for the All-Star Mile.

Black Heart Bart, Cape Of Good Hope and Wild Planet, all nominations for the All-Star Mile, gain a start if successful on Saturday while Streets Of Avalon and Kazio will be offered a berth even though they were not among original entries.

Five wild cards are on offer for the All-Star Mile with the winner of the Blamey Stakes at Flemington on Saturday week guaranteed a start.

Star New Zealand mare Melody Belle opened favourite for Saturday’s Futurity Stakes soon after nominations closed, but was replaced after the barrier draw on Wednesday by Super Seth.

Sam Freedman, assistant trainer to his father Anthony, said a decision on Super Seth running in the All-Star Mile would be made after Saturday’s 1400m race.

Freedman said if Super Seth was successful it would be hard to not to chase the $2.25 million first prize.

Melody Belle is 2020 All-Star Mile bound after having her first look at Caulfield earlier in the week with Paul Richards, deputising for his trainer son Jamie, saying the mare will benefit from Saturday’s race.

While Melody Belle, aiming for her 11th Group One victory, has an excellent 1400m record, she can be vulnerable first-up with Richards saying the $5m All-Star Mile was the mare’s target.

“She travelled over well but it took her almost a week to settle in fully but we couldn’t be happier with her progress since,” Richards said.

“But she is first-up this prep and going back to the spring she took one run in the Foxbridge Stakes before she went bang, bang at Hastings.

“Whatever she does on Saturday she will improve on but we’ve not had a hiccup. Everything has gone really well and now that she’s licking the feed bin she’s right on her game.”

 
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