Simple economics led to Streets Of Avalon getting a second crack at winning the All-Star Mile at The Valley on Saturday.
Streets Of Avalon’s connections had the option of accepting a wildcard into the $5 million All-Star Mile or taking on the sprinters back at 1200m in the William Reid Stakes on Friday week.
Streets Of Avalon finished 12th in last year’s All-Star Mile and rates a $51 chance of winning Saturday’s race.
But Mornington trainer Shane Nichols said even a midfield finish in the All-Star Mile was worth more than running in the minor placings in the William Reid Stakes, which carries $500,000 in prizemoney.
“The reality is, we’ve got to run second in the William Reid to get 90 grand or we could run 10th in the All-Star Mile and get 100 grand,” Nichols said.
“We gave the owners the option and they said to run in the All-Star Mile.”
Streets Of Avalon won his second Group 1 race two starts back in the CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield but was unplaced behind All-Star Mile equal favourite Probabeel in the Futurity Stakes last time out.
Trainer Shane Nichols did his homework before deciding to give Streets Of Avalon another shot at the $5 million All-Star Mile. Photo: Brett Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Nichols said the gelding pulled up with a minor problem after the Futurity Stakes.
“He’s in super shape. He was charging through the line in his first two wins and he got galloped on in the Futurity (Stakes),” Nichols said.
“But he recovered quickly after a week at the beach.”
The 1600m looms as the biggest obstacle between Streets Of Avalon and a hefty payday in the All-Star Mile. The son of Magnus has only placed once in seven starts over the distance.
However, Streets Of Avalon was beaten less than a length over the All-Star Mile course in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes last spring.
That effort, and a perceived lack of early speed, gave Nichols hope his charge could pull off a stunning upset in the All-Star Mile.
“He’s not as brilliant as Probabeel and Arcadia Queen but they wouldn’t want to let him run his own race as he is pretty tough,” Nichols said.
“If he can get them off the bridle early enough, he can be tough to run past.”
Originally published asPayday leads Streets to All-Star Mile
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