Arcadia Queen has been crowned top contender for the $5m All-Star Mile at The Valley on March 13.
News Corp Australia and Racenet can exclusively reveal the West Australian superstar, one of six Group 1 winners qualified for the world’s richest mile, attracted 15,105 votes to be the No.1 seed.
The poll attracted a record 147,830 validated votes, with Arcadia Queen, Behemoth (14,699) and Kiwi raider Probabeel (14,503) clear top picks.
While thrilled to get Arcadia Queen qualified, owner-breeder Bob Peters would prefer a low-key approach.
Star WA mare Arcadia Queen is locked in for the All-Star Mile. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“I wish she didn’t (poll the most), the pressure would be off,” Peters joked. “I like to be the underdog.”
Peters trumped more fancied opposition last year when Regal Power won the All-Star Mile at Caulfield. The defending champion, who misfired last spring with a lung infection, came to Melbourne with Arcadia Queen in the hope of earning one of the five wildcards into the 2021 All-Star Mile.
“I didn’t enter them both into the voting because I thought if I did that I’d split the vote and mightn’t get either one in,” Peters said.
“He’s (Regal Power) going into the Peter Young first-up at 1800m, he’ll need that run … we’ll head back towards the Australian Cup.
“If he comes through that well then it’s a drop back in distance for the next Saturday (All-Star Mile), which is exactly what we did last year.”
For the second year in a row, Peters will be forced to watch the world’s richest mile from afar. He was turned away at the airport last year as the COVID-19 crisis bubbled away.
Owner Bob Peters will be chasing back-to-back wins in the All-Star Mile with Arcadia Queen. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
“I was in the Melbourne Airport collecting my luggage with my wife, we had booked an apartment there for about three weeks,” Peters said.
“A lady came up to me and said you mightn’t be going to the races.
“I had to spend a night in Melbourne and we flew back first thing the next morning.
“We were in the airport all dressed up and nowhere to go.”
The Grant and Alanna Williams-trained Arcadia Queen, who steps out in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes on Saturday at Caulfield, will face a genuine all-star cast at The Valley next month.
Russian Camelot, Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet and Mr Quickie lead an elite Victorian division, while Mark Newnham’s bold frontrunner Greysful Glamour is the only NSW.
Still A Star, Regalo Di Gaetano and The Harrovian earned a shot at the Mile with support from fans in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.
Racing Victoria‘s executive general manager, racing, Greg Carpenter welcomed the record interest in the All-Star Mile.
Behemoth gave Arcadia Queen a run for her money in All-Star Mile voting. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Supplied
“People from all walks of life, from casual sports fans to hardened racing enthusiasts, have really embraced the race,” Carpenter said. “It is also very satisfying to see horses from every state of Australia and New Zealand represented in the top 10 this year.”
The winner of the Group 1 Futurity Stakes will receive one of the five wildcards up for grabs, unless Arcadia Queen, Behemoth, Probaeel or Mr Quickie triumph.
A second “golden ticket” will be awarded to the winner of the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington next Saturday.
Mugatoo missed out automatic qualification, polling 2313 fewer votes than the 10th placed Mr Quickie. Ole Kirk (3841 votes) and Crosshaven (3087) ranked 12th and 13th respectively.
The final field for the 2021 All-Star Mile will be announced on March 1.
ALL-STAR MILE — TOP 10
Order Horse (State, Trainer) Votes
1. Arcadia Queen (WA, Grant & Alana Williams) 15,105
2. Behemoth (SA, David Jolly) 14,699
3. Probabeel (NZ, Jamie Richards) 14,503
4. Still A Star (TAS, Bill Ryan) 9,954
5. Greysful Glamour (NSW, Mark Newnham) 9,821
6. Russian Camelot (VIC, Danny O’Brien) 8,460
7. Regalo Di Gaetano (SA, Richard & Chantelle Jolly) 8,168
8. The Harrovian (QLD, Toby & Trent Edmonds) 7,535
9. Sir Dragonet (VIC, Ciaron Maher & David Eustace) 6,335
10. Mr Quickie (VIC, Phillip Stokes) 6,168
Originally published asAll-Star Mile top 10 revealed: Queen reigns supreme
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