Lindsay Park senior trainer David Hayes has drawn inspiration from champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien in accepting the wildcard entry for Fifty Stars in the All-Star Mile.
Fifty Stars will run in the Group One Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday with Lindsay Park planning to start the horse in the $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield the following week.
Hayes said the success of Magic Wand in the Group One Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last spring was behind Lindsay Park’s decision to have a shot at both races.
Fifty Stars won his way into the All-Star Mile with victory in the Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday, joining Futurity Stakes (1400m) winner Streets Of Avalon with a wildcard entry.
The Matthew Smith-trained Fierce Impact along with Perth-owned Black Heart Bart and three-year-old Superstorm were given the final three wildcard berths joining last month’s 10 most popular horses voted by the public.
They are: Australian Guineas winner Alligator Blood, star New Zealand mare Melody Belle, Kolding, Star Missile, Dalasan, Catalyst, Mr Quickie, Aristia, Heart Of Puissance and Super Seth.
Hayes said a Group One win was important for the future stud career for Fifty Stars with the Australian Cup a first target.
“He’s been set for the race and we want to go for it and we’re not tempted to change our plan,” Hayes said.
“We’ve accepted the wildcard and we’ll make our decision on Saturday night or Sunday morning whether to take up the challenge.
“If we don’t it gives Racing Victoria the chance of letting the emergency know.”
Superstorm, runner-up to Alligator Blood in Saturday’s Australian Guineas at Flemington, is one of six three-year-olds in the All-Star Mile line-up.
Trainer Grant Williams said it was a great honour to gain a wildcard after being ineligible when nominations closed in January.
“We’re just pinching ourselves,” Williams said.
“It would have been a shame to take him home after that run on Saturday as there wasn’t much left for him.
“I’m not shying away from the fact that it’s one of the best mile races put together.”
Black Heart Bart’s trainer Lindsey Smith said he was looking at options interstate with the nine-year-old before he got his wildcard entry.
“He’s done a lot of work in the heavy sand back in Perth so a mile is what he’s looking for and he won’t run last, I can guarantee you that,” Smith said.
“We all get old, but we don’t lose our ability.”
Shane Nichols said he wished the race was renamed the All-Star 1400 and run over Streets Of Avalon’s pet distance of 1400m.
“We’ll probably pull the blinkers off to give him the chance to run out a strong mile, but he’s in excellent condition,” Nichols said.
Godolphin-owned Alizee, Avilius and Flit hold the top three spots on the provisional emergency list ahead of Dreamforce and Regal Power should any one of the 15 horses nominated be withdrawn.