2019 All-Star Mile Betting Preview
After months of lead-up and intrigue, the inaugural All-Star Mile is set to run this weekend. Is it between the girls Alizee and Mystic Journey who share favouritism at $3.80* or can the old marvel Happy Clapper prevail at $5.50*?
Likely playing on a good surface with the rail out 7m. Flemington has been playing excellently of late and presents of a similar pattern to the 19th of January. That occasion was no different with all runners getting their chance. Tempo the main influence.
Assuming no emergencies gain a start. Pace only looks moderate with Hawkshot leading. Moss’n’Dale comes across on his outside with Hartnell, Material Man and Grunt looking to sit handy. Mystic Journey looks to get a nice trail behind Grunt, likewise Happy Clapper behind Material Man. Alizee did take up a more forward role start-start but would risk being cast outside the road-blocks if Bowman elects to again here. Very similar to Amphitrite, she may also revert to running-on tactics.
The Key Runners:
1. Happy Clapper (9) - $5.50*
J: B. Shinn (59kg) T: P Webster.
The ever-green 8yo lines up in yet another top-line race. Having won thrice at Group 1 level (twice at 1600m) and placing a further 8 times there’s no doubting his class. This preparation has seen him run second to Winx on both occasions with a huge space to third both times. There are two main queries here: backing up off such a tough run in two weeks when he served it up to the champ and secondly is he superior in Sydney? For us, the latter is a myth. He’s perhaps not a Caulfield 1400m horse but his last two runs at Flemington have been more than sound – placing behind Tosen Stardom at Group 1 level and chasing gallantly in the Makybe Diva at the end of last campaign. Of those hard in the market he’s the closest to his true odds.
2. Hartnell (2) - $11*
J: W. Buick (59kg) T: J Cummings.
Another grand old campaigner who was deservedly the first wildcard announced for this race. Of his 4 Group 1 wins the most recent was in the 1600m Epsom off a brutal speed on a hard track. The speed doesn’t look near that level here, although the ground should be to his liking. He improved second-up last time in chasing hard off a wide run into 3rd behind Alizee in the Futurity, just lacking the brilliance of the winner. Does map to receive a more conservative run and will improve up the furlong in trip. As always, he’s one for your exotics at reasonable odds.
4. Grunt (15) - $15*
J: D. Oliver (59kg) T: M. Price.
A very enigmatic type who saves his best for this course and distance having won twice at Group 1 level here at 1600m: Caulfield Guineas 2018 and Makybe Diva that Spring. Both of those wins were dynamic but assisted by a fast tempo and firm track, he receives only the latter here. He was very disappointing first-up in a rather hollow 1400m Group 3 event. Although that race was dominated by the leaders, he still had every chance to hit the line better than he did (34.21s final 600m). He could inject some speed himself although that didn’t work in the Underwood last year. No from us.
11. Alizee (12) - $3.80EF*
J: H. Bowman (56kg) T: J. Cummings.
Always an absolute stand-out in the parade, it’s easy to see where she gets her dashing closing speed from. Also akin to the great mare Winx, she’s improved as a 4yo. After winning the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy last Autumn she’s yet to taste defeat including a narrow but arrogant win in the Group 1 Futurity (WFA) last start. She’s been in work for some time despite only being fourth-up here – platform no issue up to her ideal distance. After being favourite since futures markets were set, she’s been the subject of a consorted drift from $3 since barriers were drawn as she’ll have to come over the top of many of her key rivals off a suspected moderate tempo. Caulfield to Flemington is a big tick and we envisage her sailing to the line late. Deserved equal favourite, perhaps still a shade of unders – would chime in at $4.50.
12. Hawkshot (4) - $12*
J: M. Zhara (56kg) T: D. & B. Hayes & T. Dabernig.
He’s really gone to a new level this preparation. After dominating from in-front, he won the Autumn Stakes over 1400m in slashing time and backed that performance up with a gallant second in the Guineas last-start. He did some work to cross to the lead there but received a nice mid-race breather. Looks to get favours in the lead again here. Very tough to see him turning the tables on Mystic Journey who was going away from him on the line and has the upside. But he’s match-fit and will give a sight at acceptable odds relative to Mystic Journey.
13. Mystic Journey (16) - $3.80EF*
J: A. Darmanin (54kg) T: A. Trinder.
Got her ticket into this event courtesy of a breathtaking win in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at this course and distance two weeks back. She kicked up from the inside draw to sit handy and was going right away form them on the line by 2.25L. That will provide her with a superb platform to peak again here with the WFA conditions in her favour. She’ll jump from the widest barrier here regardless of emergencies which is a positive switch from 1 last-start. The over-whipping prior to the 100m (8 strikes over) last-start is completely offset by her dominance late. The consorted move since the barrier draw ($4.60 into a low of $3.50) does inspire confidence although her immeasurable upside may be over played ever so slightly now. Still have to have her on top.
14. Amphitrite (14) - $11*
J: C. Williams (54kg) T: D. & B. Hayes & T. Dabernig.
Commands respect given she opened favourite in the Australian Guineas last start. That was no error given she’s a Group 1 Thousand Guineas winner last Spring and arguably should’ve won a Group 1 Myer at the track and distance. She also won arrogantly first-up at this track over 1400m, sailing past Fundamentalist who subsequently ran The Autumn Sun to within 0.2L in Sydney. She was disappointing last-start after getting the perfect run she was only grinding to the line and couldn’t get past Hawkshot in the end. Set-up run for this? Although she’s been ridden more forward recently, it’s likely they take a sit against the older horses here meaning she could be stuck behind a few very slow ones making her price fair.
- 1. Mystic Journey ($3.80EF*).
- 2. Happy Clapper ($5.50*).
- 3. Alizee ($3.80EF*).
- 4. Amphitrite ($11*).
Think the market has it fairly spot on here. Would be surprised if one of the top 3 didn’t win. Despite Happy Clapper being marginally the best value at $5.50* we’re going with the upside of Mystic Journey and roving her in some small quinellas:
- - 60% of the race bank on the quinella Mystic Journey/Happy Clapper.
- - 40% of the race bank on the quinella Mystic Journey/Alizee.