Our look at the current top 10 contenders for the All Star Mile (as at end Jan 2019) as the story appeared on Racing.com
Leading ratings expert Daniel O’Sullivan from The Ratings Bureau (https://trb.com.au/) has pulled apart The All-Star Mile nominees and come up with his top 10. Interestingly, O’Sullivan has highlighted a Tasmanian-trained three-year-old filly as the X-Factor in the race while Godolphin appears to have a strong hand with boom mare Alizee and the old-timer, Hartnell.
Based on the current talent pool, possible key runners in the race and some historical references, a WFA Performance Rating in the range of 104.5 to 107 will likely be needed to be win The All-Star Mile.
Anything 104+ on the day is very likely good enough to be somewhere in the finish.
No. 1 – Alizee
Best WPR: 105
Returned in outstanding fashion winning first-up at Randwick over 1200m in a Group 1-class 105 rating. That was a new career peak for her at a stage of her prep where she isn’t fully fit and over a distance that is short of her best.
Her previous peaks were over 1600m as a three-year-old filly and the fact that she could run 105 over 1200m first-up is an ominous sign for her rivals in The All-Star Mile.
No. 2 – The Autumn Sun
He’s potentially the next superstar of Australian racing, an elite Group 1 talent. Until we see him first-up though it’s hard to lock in an opinion on just how elite those performances could be. That aside, reports suggest he’s a doubtful starter for this race.
WATCH: The Autumn Sun win the 2018 Caulfield Guineas in dominant fashion
No. 3 – Mystic Journey
She’s a legitimate X-factor in this race. Her 101.5 WPR win at The Valley over 1600m had plenty of extra merit after sitting wide for the trip in a very fast-run race, indicating at least 103-104 talent.
She resumed on January 23 with an outstanding win at Launceston, coming from what seemed an impossible position to win with a last 200-metre speed we very rarely see.
At this stage we still don’t know just how good she is and that untapped potential could make her a genuine contender for this race.
No. 4 – Grunt
He’s very inconsistent, but does seem to relish 1600m at Flemington and/or high-pressure, fast-run races.
His two runs at the track and distance have resulted in a very impressive 105.5 rating win in the 2018 Makybe Diva Stakes and prior to that a 102 rating win in the 2018 Australian Guineas, both run at a very fast pace.
As a punter you can never be confident about how he’ll perform, but he’s at least already demonstrated a level of talent that could be good enough to win the race.
WATCH: Grunt’s win in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington
No. 5 – Land Of Plenty
His Toorak win under handicap conditions where he carried 53kg rated a solid 102 when normalised to weight-for-age, signalling that he’s not too far off competing with the top horses under those conditions.
Speed indicators out of that run also suggest that he’s got a new peak ahead of him, which could push him into the 104-105 range and a very competitive chance in this race.
WATCH: Land Of Plenty’s breathtaking Toorak Handicap win
No. 6 – Happy Clapper
There’s absolutely no doubt he has the talent to win The All-Star Mile. Last autumn he put together three-straight performance ratings of 105.5, 106.3 and 106.8, that final peak coming when he won the G1 Doncaster Handicap with 57kg.
He’s relegated a little down my list though because he’s yet to prove he can produce those types of performances the Victorian way of going. In the spring he didn’t look the same horse, rating just 97 and 101 in two Melbourne runs and prior to that he has a Melbourne best of just 101.4.
No. 7 – D’Argento
He was very consistent during the spring in the 102 to 102.7 range, but just couldn’t break through to that next level which could see him challenge the top horses at G1 WFA.
After just 12 starts though, there’s still very good prospects for him to go to a new peak and if he can do that during the autumn, he’ll be among the chances for this race.
No. 8 – Le Romain
He’s a very tough and genuine type with the ability to take up a handy position and fight hard. He has a number of ratings around the 103 level and up to 104.5. That peak came at his last start in The Kennedy Mile during the spring, so there’s no evidence at all to say he’s past his best.
A performance in that 103-104.5 range is probably short of being good enough to win, but he can certainly run a competitive race.
No. 9 – Hartnell
He’s a grand campaigner at eight years old, but showed last spring there is still plenty of life in his legs with a 104.8-rating Epsom win and then 104.6 second placing in the Toorak, where he gave away 6kg in weight to Land Of Plenty and was beaten 1.3 lengths.
He obviously doesn’t have the upside of others and has to prove he can repeat those types of performances this preparation, but anywhere close to that level will see him competitive.
No. 10 – Brutal
This Hawks-trained three-year-old colt created a big impression when he won by five lengths in a 102.5 rating on debut at Caulfield. His two subsequent runs rated down at 97.5 and then 100 over 1400m at Flemington, but he won both and is still undefeated.
He gives the impression a mile will be no problem and the benefit of a spell could be the thing that brings him on to the next level.
With that untapped potential still an unknown, I’ve favoured him for the last position over others that may have similar peak ratings, but are much more exposed and have minimal potential to go to a level that could actually win the race.