All-Star Mile top ten confirmed

5 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Group 1 winners Grunt (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}), Alizee {Sepoy), Amphitrite (Sebring) and Foundry (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) are among the ten horses which have been granted entry into the inaugural $5m All-Star Mile at Flemington after the results of the popular vote were released.

Over 140,000 people voted as part of competition to select 10 of the 14 runners for the race, with Adelaide Listed winner Balf's Choice (Written Tycoon) gathering the most votes of any horse with 9793 votes, clear of the Chris Munce-trained Urban Ruler (Street Boss {USA}) on 8428 votes.

Balf's Choice gathers the most votes with 9793

The four Group 1 winners made up the next four positions in the field, with G1 Australian Guineas and Makybe Diva S. winner Grunt gathering 7097 votes to finish third.

Alizee, a winner of the G1 Flight S and the G1 Queen Of The Turf in her 3-year-old year, finished fourth on 6744 votes, nearly 100 more than last year's G1 Thousand Guineas Amphitrite, who at this stage is the only 3-year-old in the field.

Foundry, the 2017 G1 The Metropolitan winner, has not started since November 2017 but new trainer Terry Kelly, who bought him for $8500 last September, is readying him for a racetrack return. With the help of the Ballarat Rodeo community, he got 5558 votes.

Urban Ruler comes in second with 8428 votes

The four others that make up the field are last year's G2 Perth Cup winner Material Man (Vital Equine {Ire}), Listed winner Man Of His Word (Lope De Vega {Ire}), dual Group 3 winner Moss 'n' Dale (NZ) (Castledale {Ire}) and Mr Money Bags (Written Tycoon).

All in all, the ten horses have won six Group 1s, five Group 2s, six Group 3s, and nine Listed races between them.

There is one 3-year-old, three 4-year-olds, one 5-year-old, three 6-year-olds, one 7-year-old and one 9-year old.

The first of the four wildcards has also been awarded, with confirmation that three-time G1 winner Happy Clapper (Teofilo {Ire}) is also in the field, having finished 12th in the public vote.

"I'm so lucky he arrived on my doorstep and this is another feather in his cap. I've got to say I'm very excited," his trainer Pat Webster said.

G1 Victoria Derby winner Extra Brut (Domesday) finished in 11th spot, just missing out on an invite by 265 votes, while 13th was G1 Toorak Hcp winner Land of Plenty (Stratum), 14th was Tassie filly Mystic Journey (Needs Further) and 15th was Tom Melbourne (Ire) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}).

The Autumn Sun (Redoute's Choice) would have made the field easily but connections chose not to contest the race.

Contention around quality

The voting system has drawn its fair degree of scrutiny with admissions from Racing Victoria that a significant amount of votes were removed when it was discovered some people had placed votes on multiple occasions.

The vote count went into blackout mode last Friday before voting closed on Monday.

Racing Victoria Executive General Manager - Racing Greg Carpenter said that all aspects of the process would be reviewed and changes may be made for 2020.

“The review will include things like the minimum rating it would take to get in and whether we’d be able to accommodate international voting and take the race global, the voting process itself and the length of time it is open,” Carpenter told Racenet.

“We’re open to everyone’s feedback and we’ll take everyone’s learnings as they come in and take them on board when working on the Ts and Cs (terms and conditions) for All-Star Mile 2020."

“One part of the voting review will be whether the international voting participation can incorporate winning the prizes.”

New Zealand connections were shut out of voting for the All-Star Mile this year and Carpenter admitted that international blackout was a hindrance to any prospects of attracting overseas runners in the future.

The remaining three wildcards will be announced by Monday March 4.

The Top Ten:

Balf's Choice (Ryan Balfour) - 9793 votes;

Urban Ruler (Chris Munce) - 8428 votes;

Grunt (Mick Price) - 7097 votes;

Alizee (James Cummings) - 6744 votes;

Amphitrite (David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig) - 5784 votes;

Foundry (Terry Kelly) - 5558 votes;

Material Man (Justin Warwick) - 5358 votes;

Man Of His Word (Dean Krongold) - 5135 votes;

Moss 'N' Dale (Peter Gelagotis) - 5072 votes; and

Mr Money Bags (Robbie Griffiths) - 5013 votes.

Next in voting:

11th: Extra Brut (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace) - 4748 votes

12th: Happy Clapper (Pat Webster) - 4241 votes (Wildcard)

13th: Land Of Plenty (Paul and Peter Snowden) - 4142 votes

14th: Mystic Journey (Adam Trinder) - 3835 votes

15th: Tom Melbourne (Chris Waller) - 3597 votes

16th: Manuel (Tony McEvoy) - 3395 votes

17th: Ringerdingding (Chris Waller) 2875 votes

18th: Main Stage (Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young) - 2523 votes

19th: Magic Consol (Paul Presuker) - 2013 votes

20th: Penny to Sell (Mick Sell) - 1895 votes