Cream rises to top in race for All-Star Mile

The $5 million All-Star Mile puzzle has intensified with electrifying performances at Flemington and Randwick underlying the star quality entered in the world’s richest 1600m contest.

Alligator Blood, who headed the leaderboard before Friday’s blackout, franked his popularity with a gusty CS Hayes victory over fellow three-year-old contender Catalyst.

The pair, who staged a monumental battle at Flemington, is due to clash again in the Australian Guineas at Flemington on February 29 before squaring off at Caulfield two weeks later in the All-Star Mile.

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Catalyst and Alligator Blood had an epic battle down the straight at Flemington in the CS hayes Stakes. The pair will clash again in the All-Star Mile. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

While Alligator Blood’s trainer David Vandyke was justifiably jubilant after his tenacious gelding’s courageous win, Catalyst’s handler Clayton Chipperfield lost no faith in his charge.

“That was some sort of dogfight, but I was very happy with that,” Chipperfield said.

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“He gave the winner a kilo and got beaten a nose. Obviously, the weight was an advantage for the other boy, but we can’t be disappointed with that.

“It wasn’t a must-win race but we needed to know he was competitive and he certainly answered that question. His best sectionals have been over a mile. He’ll relish the mile of the Guineas.”

Alizee, third in last year’s All-Star Mile behind Mystic Journey and Hartnell, landed the Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, defeating fellow All-Star Mile aspirants Dreamforce (second) and Verry Elleegant (fourth).

Alizee surged back into All-Star Mile contention with a victory in the Apollo Stakes at Randwick. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s sprinter Loving Gaby also caught the eye with a flashing third behind Gytrash in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes.

Flit stamped her credentials with success in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) before Galaxy Raider stormed from the ruck to snare The Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (1400m).

Voting closes on Sunday night (11.59pm) before the final 15-horse field, with up to five wildcards, is announced for the March 15 feature.

ALL-STAR MILE CONTENDERS

How they fared on Saturday

FLEMINGTON

Black Caviar Lightning (1000m)

Loving Gaby – Third

CS Hayes Stakes (1400m)

Alligator Blood – Won

Catalyst – Second

Soul Patch – Fourth

Dalasan – Fifth

The Vanity (1400m)

Pretty Brazen – Second

Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (1400m)

Galaxy Raider – won

Ef Troop – Fourth

Admiral’s Joker – Fifth

Fox Hall – Seventh

Star Missile – Eighth

Rox The Castle – Ninth

Galaxy Raider stormed home to win the HKJC Trophy at Flemington. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

RANDWICK

Apollo Stakes (1400m)

Alizee – Won

Dreamforce – Second

Verry Elleegant – Fourth

Light Fingers Stakes (1200m)

Flit – Won

Southern Cross Stakes (1200m)

Jungle Edge – Third

EAGLE FARM

Open Handicap (1400m)

Cruze – Seventh

Originally published asCream rises to top in race for All-Star Mile

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