First run in 2019, the All Star Mile is, as its name suggests, a 1600m special conditions race worth a whopping $5m. This year’s WFA feature will be held at Flemington racecourse.
The 15 horse field is primarily decided by votes cast by racing fans, with the 10 most popular horses securing a start in the race. The other 5 runners are wild card entries. Last year’s ASM was taken out by the Kris Lee’s trained, Mugatoo.
There is no doubt this year’s race lives up to its name, as an all star lineup awaits us. Looking at the market, Dabble has three time G1 winner, Zaaki, favourite at $3.40. Blamey Stakes winner Inspirational Girl, and boom 3YO, Pinstriped, are both on the next line at $6.00. Whereas Golden Eagle winner I’m Thunderstruck is closely behind, at $6.50.
However, the chances don’t stop there, and as we so often find out with racing, anything can happen. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 All Star Mile along with The Shark’s best tips.
1. I’m Thunderstruck (1) – $6.50
Jockey – Jye McNeil 59kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr
$7.5m Golden Eagle winner last prep, who was good against the pattern first up in the G1 CF Orr. He then stepped out in the G1 Futurity Stakes last start, and had no luck whatsoever. He now steps to the Flemington mile third up, which looks a perfect stepping stone, but has come up with barrier 1. For most horses this would be a positive, but with this blokes racing pattern, it seems less than ideal. If McNeil can get him off the fence before the turn, and get him into clear air at the right time, he will be very hard to beat.
2. Zaaki (15) – $3.40F
Jockey – Jamie Kah 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham
— Maggie Payne (@maggiepayne_) March 15, 2022
Race favourite, who was good first up in the G2 Blamey Stakes, albeit in slow overall time. It was a last minute decision to run there, as Randwick was under water. He should derive plenty of benefit from that run, and will be looking to turn the tables here. He’s drawn the outside gate, but will roll forward, and from the forgiving Flemington mile start, shouldn’t have too many hard luck stories. Will look the winner for a long way.
3. Cascadian (6) – $20
Jockey – Damien Oliver 59kg
Trainer – James Cummings
Grand old galloper who ran well in last week’s Australian Cup without much luck. His other two runs this prep have been good, finishing 3rd in the G1 CF Orr first up, before taking out the G2 Peter Young Stakes. 7 day back up suggests he’s pulled up well, and the drop back to a mile is no issue. He’s had three goes at the Flemington mile, all in G1 company, and is yet to miss a place. From the good gate, there is no reason he can’t keep that record intact here. Chance at odds.
4. Streets of Avalon (3) – $91
Jockey – Zac Spain 59kg
Trainer – Shane Nichols
Ran well first up in the Australia Stakes behind speedstar, Marabi. Wasn’t far away second up in the G1 Futurity. Steps up to the mile now, which in the past, has been a challenge. Will roll forward from the good gate, but it is hard to see him figuring here.
5. Lunar Fox (14) – $81
Jockey – Craig Newitt 59kg
Trainer – Paul Preusker
Won the G1 Australian Guineas this track/distance last year. Hasn’t done much in two runs this prep, and it’s hard to include him on that recent form.
6. King Magnus (5) – $81
Jockey – Lachlan King 59kg
Trainer – Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock
Pass mark first up behind Corner Pocket, before another decent effort last start in the G2 Blamey. Drawn to get a nice run here, but would prefer him in something a bit easier.
7. Callsign Mav (10) – $51
Jockey – Ben Allen 59kg
Trainer – Danny O’Brien
Almost got the job done first up in the G3 Carlyon Cup at Caulfield, before racing handy and weakening in last week’s Australian Cup. Drop back to 1600m suits, but he needs to find a few lengths to be in the finish here.
8. Mr Brightside (2) – $18
Jockey – Craig Williams 59kg
Trainer – Ben & JD Hayes
Resumed with a very good effort here at Flemington behind Corner Pocket. He then led them up, and held on to finish 4th in the G2 Blamey. That race was an absolute sit and sprint, which aided his chances, but his run was good nonetheless. Ran 4th in the G1 Cantala last Spring at this track/distance, but this is his first go at WFA and by far his biggest test.
9. Icebath (9) – $23
Jockey – Fred Kersley 57kg
Trainer – Brad Widdup
Honest mare who resumed with a good run in the G2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick. She was then sent out an odds on favourite in the G2 Guy Walter, and was only fair, on what was a bottomless track. Was beaten a lip in the G1 Cantala last Spring, and will appreciate the Flemington mile here once again. She’s often labelled a ‘wet tracker’ but I think she will appreciate the dryer surface here, and is capable of running top 4.
10. Tofane (7) – $14
Jockey – Jamie Mott 57kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney
Can Zaaki be beaten in the All-Star Mile? pic.twitter.com/QYywZWoBvx
— Racing.com (@Racing) March 16, 2022
Resumed a brilliant winner of the G1 CF Orr Stakes, before running another bold race in the G1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield. Yet to win past 1400m, but was beaten 1L in last year’s G1 Makybe Diva Stakes. The Moroney stable is on fire, and she loses nothing with underrated hoop Jamie Mott taking over here. Drawn well and is proven at WFA. Has to be considered.
11. Sierra Sue (13) – $20
Jockey – John Allen 57kg
Trainer – Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
Comes through the same form lines as Tofane. Finished a good 4th to that mare first up in the G1 CF Orr, before turning the tables last start in the G1 Futurity. Her form on paper at a mile reads fair, but she is a winner over 1750m. Draws 13, which isn’t ideal, and she may have to be ridden cold to produce her best. Needs a John Allen peach.
12. Inspirational Girl (4) – $6.00
Jockey – Damian Lane 57kg
Trainer – Danny O’Brien
Found the line well first up in the CF Orr, where the pattern was against. She then got the job done in brilliant style last start, winning the G2 Blamey Stakes here at Flemington. That race was run at a muddling tempo, and her late sectionals to win the race were phenomenal. She should peak here third up, draws well, and stays at her pet trip. Beat Zaaki last start, and can beat him again. Go close.
13. Captivant (11) – $34
Jockey – Patrick Moloney 56kg
Trainer – Peter & Paul Snowden
Good in the G2 CS Hayes two back behind Pinstriped, before a fair effort in the G1 Australian Guineas. Ran 2nd to Anamoe in the Caulfield Guineas last Spring, and would need to find some of that form to be competitive here.
14. Lightsaber (12) – $16
Jockey – Luke Nolen 56kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody
Missed the start hopelessly in the G1 CF Orr two back, before putting it together in the G1 Australian Guineas, and finishing a strong 2nd. They ran good overall time on that occasion, and he proved he can run a strong mile. Will roll forward from the wide gate, and be in the mix for a long way.
15. Pinstriped (8) – $6.00
Jockey – Michael Dee 56kg
Trainer – Enver Jusufovic
Made it 3 from 3 winning the G2 CS Hayes Stakes two starts ago here at Flemington. He then finished an unlucky 5th in the G1 Australian Guineas. Stevie Wonder would’ve spotted his luckless performance on that occasion, and there is no doubt in my mind he should’ve finished top 3, if not won that race. He steps up to WFA now, which will be his biggest test to date, but is a capable type.
This year’s All Star Mile promises to be a great race going off the last start of the majority of these gallopers. Race favourite Zaaki resumed in good style, only to be outgunned late by Inspirational Girl in the G2 Blamey Stakes. Those two head the market here, and both look strong winning chances once again.
— Enver Jusufovic Racing (@jusufovicracing) March 15, 2022
I’m Thunderstruck hasn’t had much go his way this prep, and looks primed to run a big race third up at the Flemington mile. Boom 3YO gelding, Pinstriped, was luckless in the G1 Australian Guineas, and looks more than capable of measuring up at WFA here. Lightsaber finished a strong second in that race, and Captivant wasn’t far away either.
Iron mare Tofane is racing well, winning the G1 CF Orr first up, before finishing a good 3rd to Sierra Sue in the G1 Futurity Stakes. Both mares step up to the mile here, which is not their ideal trip, but can be more than competitive.
Sydney mare, Icebath, finds herself back at Flemington, where she finished a close 2nd in last year’s G1 Cantala Stakes, and will be looking to go one better, and Godolphin’s warhorse, Cascadian, is not without a hope after a luckless run in the G1 Australian Cup.
Looking at the speed map, it looks as though the race should be run at a solid tempo. If that’s the case, the likes of Inspirational Girl, I’m Thunderstruck and Pinstriped should get their chance to run on.
I’m going to put Inspirational Girl on top, on the sheer fact she’s drawn well and should be peaking third up here. Pinstriped no doubt looks to have plenty of upside, but feel this race may be an afterthought, and I’m Thunderstruck will need luck to go his way after drawing gate 1.
Best All Star Mile Tip: 12. Inspirational Girl – Each Way ($6.00/$2.25)
All Star Mile numbers: 12-1-15-2
If you need more news, information and tips, head over to our All Star Mile page for all your punting needs!
*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.