The field for the world’s richest mile race is complete with five wildcard runners announced tonight by Racing Victoria and the Moonee Valley Racing Club for the $5 million All-Star Mile to be run at The Valley on Saturday, 13 March.
Premier trainer Chris Waller has accepted a wildcard with four-time Group 1 placegetter Star of the Seas who secured his berth with victory in the ‘win and you’re in’ Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Dual Group 1-winning mare Shout The Bar, who claimed the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes over a mile at Flemington last spring, has also been handed a wildcard.
The four-year-old mare, who resumed with a brave third in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) on Saturday, will be the first All-Star Mile runner for Hall of Fame member Gai Waterhouse and her training partner Adrian Bott.
Saturday’s upset Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) winner Lunar Fox will fly the flag for country Victoria as the lone three-year-old in the field after connections of the Horsham-trained galloper accepted a wildcard.
Whilst the Paul Preusker-trained colt was a long-priced winner at Flemington, he boasts a victory in the Group 2 VRC Sires Produce (1400m) at two and a fifth placing in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on his resume.
Untapped New South Wales galloper Mugatoo has also been handed a wildcard and will return to the scene of arguably his career best performance at The Valley where he finished fourth in the centenary Cox Plate (2040m) last spring.
The Kris Lees-trained import finished in the unenviable position of 11th in the public vote – one place outside a guaranteed start – but with six wins from 11 Australian starts he has done enough to convince the All-Star Mile wildcard selection panel of his credentials.
The fifth wildcard has been handed to tough Victorian galloper Streets of Avalon who secured his second Group 1 title just two starts back when successful in the C.F.Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The Shane Nichols-trained gelding, who has been placed in five of his seven starts at The Valley including a win in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) three starts back, will join public elect Mr Quickie as a second-time All-Star.
RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said: “We’re delighted to add these five wildcards to the 10 publicly voted horses to complete our line-up for the third annual All-Star Mile which is shaping as an incredible race on Saturday week at The Valley.
“There is a blend of established brilliance and fairytale stories among the field for this year’s race as we’ve become accustomed to over the first two years of Australia’s only fan voted race.
“With the addition of the wildcards, The All-Star Mile 2021 field now boasts nine individual Group 1 winners and the first five Australasian-trained horses home in this season’s centenary Cox Plate to underline its quality.
“The inaugural All-Star Mile was won by Australian Guineas winner Mystic Journey, while Superstorm was runner-up in both races last year, so we are really pleased to have three-year-old Lunar Fox in the race and know that he brings a proven formline.
“Shout The Bar and Streets of Avalon are proven Group 1 performers, as is Star of the Seas who was very impressive in securing his wildcard with victory in the Blamey Stakes on Saturday.
“Mugatoo is the x-factor. He was outstanding in the Cox Plate and has been set to peak for this race. He was unlucky to finish 11th in the public vote, so we’re pleased to give his connections another chance at glory.”
MVRC General Manager – Racing, Media & Communications, Alastair Dwyer, added: “The Moonee Valley Racing Club is delighted with how the All-Star Mile field has come together and the addition of the five wildcards has added further intrigue to what is already an exciting race.
“To have five high-class runners return to The Valley after running in the centenary Cox Plate last October shows the strength of the All-Star Mile in attracting the best middle-distance horses in Australia and New Zealand.
“The Valley will produce an atmosphere befitting of the race and the famous mile start will see combatants truly tested like never before. Saturday, 13 March can’t come quickly enough.”
The field for the All-Star Mile 2021, as chosen by the public vote and wildcard panel, is as follows:
- Arcadia Queen (WA, Grant & Alana Williams)
- Behemoth (SA, David Jolly)
- Probabeel (NZ, Jamie Richards)
- Still A Star (TAS, Bill Ryan)
- Greysful Glamour (NSW, Mark Newnham)
- Russian Camelot (VIC, Danny O’Brien)
- Regalo Di Gaetano (SA, Richard & Chantelle Jolly)
- The Harrovian (QLD, Toby & Trent Edmonds)
- Sir Dragonet (VIC, Ciaron Maher & David Eustace)
- Mr Quickie (VIC, Phillip Stokes)
- Lunar Fox (VIC, Paul Preusker)
- Mugatoo (NSW, Kris Lees)
- Shout The Bar (NSW, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott)
- Star of the Seas (NSW, Chris Waller)
- Streets of Avalon (VIC, Shane Nichols)
Final acceptances will be taken at 10am (AEDT) next Tuesday, 9 March with the emergencies to be declared thereafter and the barrier draw conducted later that day.