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Alligator Blood continues to astound his trainer David Vandyke as he prepares to cap a memorable season in the All-Star Mile

Queensland star Alligator Blood continues to astound his trainer David Vandyke as he prepares to cap a memorable season in the $5 million All-Star Mile at Caulfield.

Alligator Blood, to be ridden by Ryan Maloney, is favourite for Saturday’s All-Star Mile and Vandyke says the three-year-old will front up in great order for what will be his 10th and final start of the 2019/20 season.

The winner of 10 of his 11 starts including the Group One Australian Guineas at his most recent appearance last Saturday week, Alligator Blood was $2.70 favourite after coming up with barrier 10 of 15 on Tuesday.

New Zealand champion Melody Belle is second favourite at $4.50 and has barrier five in a field that includes 10 individual Group One winners.

“I’m happy with barrier 10,” Vandyke said.

“We’ve been drawing some very good barriers of late, one and two at his past two starts, so I was expecting a double figure and 10 is OK.

“Streets Of Avalon is on our outside in barrier 11. We’ll probably go forward with him and as Ryan said it gives him a bit of time to think.”

Alligator Blood’s only blemish was when a close second to Super Seth in the Group One Caulfield Guineas last spring.

As he does after every race, Vandyke has monitored Alligator Blood’s recovery since his memorable Australian Guineas win last Saturday week and is happy to press on with All-Star Mile plans.

“He galloped well this morning,” Vandyke said.

“He keeps astounding us. He’s been up since last May and he’s in as good a shape as we’ve seen him so we’re looking forward to Saturday and I think he is too.

“He came through the Australian Guineas about the same as he came through the C S Hayes Stakes and it wouldn’t have taken much for us to go to the paddock and give him a break.

“But I’m happy enough that he’s going to be in pristine condition come Saturday.”

Trainer Jamie Richards’ father Paul, who is looking after 10-time Group One winner Melody Belle in Melbourne, was pleased with the mare’s draw saying it gave jockey Opie Bosson options.

Fierce Impact’s trainer Matthew Smith would have preferred a better draw than 12 but cannot fault the Japanese-bred entire who won the Group One Toorak Handicap and Cantala Stakes last spring from wide barriers under Craig Williams.

“We would rather have a better draw but the draw is what it is and Craig has got to deal with it now,” Smith said.

“He can win from the gate if the race is run to suit him. It just comes down to how they run the race.”

 
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