All-Star Alizee too tough by half in G1

4 min read
Given Alizee (Sepoy) beat nine individual G1 winners in Saturday's G1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield it would seem the All-Star Mile should be a walk in the park for Godolphin's tough and in-form mare.

Nine of Alizee ‘s 11 Futurity rivals had won at top level but in three weeks at Flemington she is likely to face a considerably weaker field in the inaugural $5million "fan voted race."

Alizee hadn't raced in Melbourne since her third in the 2017 Thousand Guineas but returned to Caulfield having won three straight. That sequence stretches back to the G1 Queen Of The Turf but also includes a stint on the sidelines due to a bleeding attack.

"She's just in ripping form and that's four wins straight for her." - Trainer James Cummings

The 4-year-old has seemingly returned better than ever and followed her Listed Christmas Classic and G2 Expressway Stakes wins with a third career G1.

"She's a beauty," Godolphin's head trainer James Cummings said. "She's just in ripping form and that's four wins straight for her and she's a deserving weight-for-age Group One winner."

"They don't hand them out and that's probably the toughest I've seen a horse of mine ever win a Group One in such fashion."

Tough run

Jumping from an awkward gate for Hugh Bowman, Alizee raced three wide with no cover for much of the 1,400m race and was shunted even wider on the turn.

After the torrid run in transit, Alizee settled into a dog fight with Malaguerra (Magnus) but was able to grind out a half length result.

"She's just a brut of a mare." - James Cummings

"She has just been able to absorb the pressure and she's just a brut of a mare," Cummings said. "When ridden for a turn of foot she can be even better but that's a wonderful quality in a horse to be so versatile and still fend off quality weight-for-age Group One horses. She is a special horse to have in the barn."

"She got off the float at Carbine Lodge (Godolphin's Flemington stables) during the week and just hit the ground running in Melbourne. She is in the form we need to see her in."

Bowman admitted that he “didn’t have a great deal of luck," and quipped, "she had to make her own luck."

“I thought she sustained her run to the line really well and with a better run, I thought she’d be more dynamic over a mile,” he said.

Cummings was more forgiving of the ride.

"That's how we are going to win group 1s, " he said. "I suppose it wasn't pretty but when we look back over it, we will see the moves Hughie was able to make – they were the right ones, and he's won us the race."

All-Star aspirations

Alizee was one of the first 10 horses selected for the All-Star Mile and Cummings was supremely confident of his mare's chances when she steps up to a mile on the bigger track.

"She is in outstanding form going into the All-Star Mile, a couple of weight-for-age wins in a row, beating the boys, you can't help but be impressed.," he said. "Plenty of good mares have won this race in the past, like Typhoon Tracy (Red Ransom {USA}). She's looking like being right up there with them, she's a bloody good racehorse."

Godolphin's Hartnell (GB) (Authorized {Ire}) flashed home for third and that might be enough for him to secure one of the three remaining wildcards in the All-Star Mile after he was named as "first emergency" on Friday.

The 8-year-old has won four G1s and more than $5 million in prizemoney but seems to be returning to his best form in time to push for a place in the race at Flemington.

It wasn't all good news for Godolphin however as Alizee and Hartnell's stablemate Best Of Days (GB) (Azamour {Ire}) "pulled a Chautauqua (Encosta De Lago)".

The G1 winning miler stayed in the barriers at the start and the 5-year-old will now need to trial to the satisfaction of stewards before being allowed to start again.