Mugatoo’s owners sweat on Mile wildcard

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Thu 25th February 2021

Connections of Mugatoo remain intent on gaining a start in the All-Star Mile and have bypassed the Chipping Norton Stakes to concentrate on the Melbourne feature.

The Australian Bloodstock galloper narrowly missed out on securing his spot among the top 10 gallopers in the public vote and now has to sweat on receiving a wildcard entry.

Mugatoo was nominated for Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick as a precaution but trainer Kris Lees said they have decided to roll the dice and wait for the All-Star Mile process to unfold.

“We’re still concentrating on getting to the All-Star Mile,” Lees said.

“It’s a fortnight away so we will stick to the original plan of going into it second up should we get in.

“You’d like to think you’re in strong contention.”

Lees said Mugatoo had continued to thrive since his first-up fifth to Colette in the Apollo Stakes and would have a quiet barrier trial on Monday to keep him ticking over.

Stablemate Collide was also a non-acceptor for the Chipping Norton with Lees opting to wait for the Randwick City Stakes (2000m) seven days later.

He believes the distance of that race is a more suitable starting point for the European import, who is on a Sydney Cup path.

Leading trainers Chris Waller and James Cummings dominate the Chipping Norton field with six of the nine runners between them.

Waller, who has won eight of the past 10 renewals of the 1600 metre race, saddles up favourite Verry Elleegant along with Kolding, Funstar and Toffee Tongue.

Godolphin will be represented by emerging mare Colette and stable stalwart Avilius.