Saturday’s $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) returns to its inaugural home at Flemington for the fourth running of the world’s richest mile race and the race favourite Zaaki has the outside barrier 15 to win from.

Zaaki (Photo: Steve Hart) |

Zaaki is the horse to beat in Flemington’s $5 million The All-Star Mile this weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

Injury and withdrawals have seen a notable change of line-up to this year’s The All-Star Mile field with only four of the original Top 10 Vote-Getters still in the mix.

That includes last season’s Mackinnon Stakes champion, the Annabel Neasham-trained Zaaki presenting fit second-up off a Group 2 Blamey Stakes second at the track that he is looking to atone for from out wide on Saturday.

Zaaki remains the $3.50 favourite in The All-Star Mile betting at despite drawing the carpark.

The other top vote-getter that takes his place in the field is the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr-trained I’m Thunderstruck.

Winner of the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and the $7.5 million The Golden Eagle (1500m) during a stella spring campaign, the four-year-old son of Shocking came up trumps with the inside alley for jockey Jye McNeil third-up on Saturday.

I’m Thunderstruck is out to $6 as the third elect to win, with Zaaki’s last start conqueror Inspirational Girl ($5) between them in the markets.

Damian Lane partners Danny O’Brien’s ultra-consistent Reliable Man mare from a favourable barrier four draw.

The six-year-old has won 10 of her 15 starts to date and is undefeated with a perfect four-from-four mile record, including her Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) victory back in Perth in November of 2020, heading into her rematch with Zaaki.

She ran him down in the Blamey Stakes at the track and distance on March 5 second-up off six-month break and presents as the danger again.

O’Brien is dually represented in Saturday’s feature race with Callsign Mav, eighth in last weekend’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), a late minute inclusion replacing injured South Australian galloper Regalo Di Gaetano.

Pinstriped, one of a three three-year-olds in the mix, rounds out the single-figure fancies at a current quote of $7.

The Enver Jusufovic-trained son of Street Boss was undefeated after his win in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) two back and lost few admirers when running a brave fifth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) here last start.

The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Australian Derby winner Hitotsu made history first-up since his VRC Derby win in the spring and was one of the original Top 10 for The All-Star Mile.

The stable has opted to keep him on the path towards the Group 1 $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) next month in Sydney however, opting not to pay final acceptances.

Lighthouse, last weekend’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic winning mare, was also a non-acceptor for the Maher/Eustace stable replaced in the line-up by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained colt Captivant.

CF Orr winning mare Tofane ($15), Lindsay Park’s last start Blamey Stakes fourth placed four-year-old Mr Brightside ($15) and Godolphin stalwart Cascadian ($19) are considered the best of the rest.

Cascadian is also on the short turnaround off an Australian Cup run, the seven-year-old finishing fifth over the 2000m.

He won the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) prior to that second-up off a CF Orr third and has form around Zaaki having run second to him in the Mackinnon here last November.

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 1311311×55 I’M THUNDERSTRUCK (NZ) Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr) Jye McNeil 1 59kg 112
2 111x1131x2 ZAAKI (GB) Annabel Neasham Ms Jamie Kah 15 59kg 118
3 545432×315 CASCADIAN (GB) James Cummings Damien Oliver 6 59kg 112
4 2875483×56 STREETS OF AVALON Shane Nichols Zac Spain 3 59kg 108
5 40x9560x09 LUNAR FOX Paul Preusker Craig Newitt 14 59kg 95
6 1224251×76 KING MAGNUS Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock Lachlan King 5 59kg 100
7 223x117x28 CALLSIGN MAV (NZ) Danny O’Brien Ben Allen 10 59kg 106
8 1111114×34 MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ) Ben & JD Hayes Craig Williams 2 59kg 99
9 x354912x64 ICEBATH (NZ) Brad Widdup Fred Kersley 9 57kg 107
10 11x3427x13 TOFANE (NZ) Michael Moroney Jamie Mott 7 57kg 115
11 4117100×41 SIERRA SUE (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young John Allen 13 57kg 114
12 31112x5x61 INSPIRATIONAL GIRL (NZ) Danny O’Brien Damian Lane 4 57kg 112
13 x36728x636 CAPTIVANT Peter & Paul Snowden Patrick Moloney 11 56kg 106
14 9x6414x402 LIGHTSABER Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 12 56kg 104
15 1×115 PINSTRIPED Enver Jusufovic Michael Dee 8 56kg 90

Table Credit: Racing Australia.


About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.