Dual Group 1 winner Alizee heads betting for the $5 million All-Star Mile after the bulk of the field was released today.
Alizee is the $3.50 favourite ahead of Amphitrite ($6.00) and the first wildcard entry, Happy Clapper at ($7.00).
Three wildcard slots remain and contenders Land Of Plenty and Mystic Journey are both on $9.00. Brisbane trained Urban Ruler finished second in public voting and is a $101 outsider.
Alizee is a quality mare and deserves her spot at the top of betting. Happy Clapper is a great addition to the field and the race can only get stronger when the next three wildcards are revealed.
Alizee is also $2.30 favourite for Saturday’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.
Trainer Kris Lees is unfazed by the outside barrier for Le Romain who tackles Alizee and puts his All-Star Mile credentials on the line in the Futurity.
Success in Saturday’s Group 1 is likely to secure the winner a wildcard into the All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 16.
Le Romain has drawn the widest gate in the 12-horse Futurity field but Lees says that is not too much of a concern,
“He’s not a horse that likes being cluttered up,” Lees said. “He doesn’t have a turn of foot and he likes to get rolling into his races.
“If he gets over into the right spot he’s going to be able to get rolling when it suits. He’s often won from ordinary draws so I’m not that concerned by it.”
The Newcastle trainer, who won last Saturday’s Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington with In Her Time, said Le Romain would normally start his autumn campaign a little later with an emphasis on Sydney.
But the lure of the All-Star Mile meant he was in work earlier and the Futurity fitted nicely into his program.