Streets Of Avalon won his way into the All-Star Mile and his trainer Shane Nichols believes the recent Group One winner is poised to run another bold race in the $5 million event at Caulfield.
Five-year-old Streets Of Avalon’s upset win in the Group One Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 22, narrowly beating Super Seth, earned him a wild card into Saturday’s All-Star Mile.
While his on-pace racing style was suited on that day Nichols still believes there was plenty of merit to the performance, with three other runners in the All-Star Mile finishing behind him.
“Obviously you had to be on the speed and close to the rail but he still ran 1:21.90,” Nichols said.
“That’s the second fastest Futurity in 20 years. He jumped out, rolled along and gave them every chance to run him down at weight-for-age.
“The other horses were quite a distance away. It’s not like he fell in and won by a small margin back to third and fourth and fifth. So I just thought it was an outstanding effort.
“Whilst there was some concern with the track bias, I still think we ran the time to justify the win.”
Nichols has decided to remove the blinkers from Streets Of Avalon who will instead race in winkers for the first time in a bid to run out a strong 1600m.
“I think with blinkers on he just goes a little bit too solidly,” Nichols said.
“He’s in such a sweet spot at 1400 metres with the blinkers on, his tempo is perfect for those sorts of races but at the mile I think he just needs to come back half a second a furlong and that will allow him to do it.”
Streets Of Avalon is one of the expected horses to go forward but Nichols’ initial thought was to hopefully sit just off favourite Alligator Blood who has drawn one barrier inside him in gate 10.
“I don’t think we’ll be sitting at his neck, we might be sitting at his flank or something like that,” he said.
Streets Of Avalon is at $26.
“I’m pretty confident we’ll run really well,” Nichols said.
“Sometimes you can run in a race where you think, ‘gee we’re going to probably finish midfield or worse’ but I just think the way this race will unfold and how the horse has progressed since the Futurity, he’s just going to run at the top of his game.”