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bet365 Melbourne Mail: Caulfield - 16th March 2024

3 minute read

The Champions Mile 1-2 headline as the All Star Mile swings to Caulfield.

MR BRIGHTSIDE winning the The Sharp EIT ALL-STAR MILE
MR BRIGHTSIDE winning the The Sharp EIT ALL-STAR MILE Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

 

To fill in the days between major race meetings, one thing punters enjoy is to moan about the state of it all. This week's rant du jour is the All Star Mile, a good horse race but one that popped up without a real purpose and has struggled to live up to it's ordinary name.

The name, 'All Star Mile' sounds like the mutant brainchild of one of those horrendous things called focus groups where what comes out is the average of average opinions. Focus groups are like middle tote; they ensure that you won't get the best. Just something plain, something in the middle. Don't take middle tote and don't listen to focus groups.

There are good things about the concept, the charity angle, the race ambassador angle and a race moving around Melbourne's premier tracks year-on-year all have legs. All would be better applied to the Australian Cup (it is hard to see Flemington allowing that to float mind...) in the view of the Melbourne Mail - a race with a far better name. 

While we are ranting... The Phar Lap Stakes is run at Rosehill this weekend. Austraila's greatest ever racehorse, a household name, is honoured by a mere trial for a Derby trial. The Phar Lap was where Verry Eleegant first put it all together and posted the best modern performance in the race (some could argue for Apache Cat and Heart Of Dreams on that count) and it seems beyond obvious that this should be the race named for her and Phar Lap should take the Group One mile that he won (quite well by all reports) in 1930.

Back to the All Star and the point of this piece. The race has a similar look to the big miles of the spring (one reason why heckling of the field itself is probably a bit OTT...). 

The Champions Mile 1-2 go again; Mr Brightside against a 120+ rated mare who hasn't won as many races as that rating would suggest she should have. The same clash we saw in the King Charlie up in Sydney where Mr Brightside started odds-on against Fangirl. Third pick that day was the 119-rated Light Infantry Man, a horse who had forged his reputation at Deauville where he was second in the Jean Prat and behind a champion filly in the Marois - just like Cascadian who takes up his role at Caulfield. 

Here Light Infantry Man and Cascadian diverge with the latter having established himself in Australia where he has bagged a Doncaster, Austrailan Cup and an All Aged along with a St George, Hill and Craven. Nothing pop-up or passing about those races! 

A little pattern emerges when looking at this bank of big performances from Cascadian - his engine roars when the pressure soars. Enter Pride Of Jenni, Buffalo River, Attractable, Desert Lightning and a big ol' pot of cash at the finish. There seems no way around a big tempo here. Not only are those four horses who like to press on but a couple of them, notably Pride Of Jenni, clearly excels when the tempo turns up and isn't going to be bluffed out by others wanting a piece of it. 

Mr Brightside is not one to shirk it when the going gets tough of course, his record tells you that, but current prices make it close to 90/10 against Cascadian and it's easy enough to mount a case that it should be closer - and so we will. 

The All Star Mile is followed by the Final to the Country Mile Series - a terrific concept that concentrates rather than dilutes competition and it has concentrated a hugely competitive Final both on and off the track.

The betting should be fierce, 16 runners and many more angles, and yet the pen stops at the top of the card and of the betting - Sir Atlas. 

This piece is already running beyond where most modern attention spans dare to tread so I will keep this brief. Sir Atlas has sent out signals each and every time he has been to the races and the splits he ran to go away from them at Terang were those of a horse with more winning to come. It can come as soon as Saturday in the Final where prices bigger than 7/2 are there for the taking. 

 

THE MELBOURNE MAIL 

Bet Of The Day: Race 9 #1 Sir Atlas @ $4.60 with bet365*

Each Way Play: Race 8 #2 Cascadian @ $12.00 with bet365

 

*Prices correct as of 11:00am AEST 14/13  


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