Group 1 winner Fifty Stars could swoop on an All-Star Mile spot if connections of Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet decide against running him in Saturday’s $5 million event at The Valley.
Co-trainers Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have launched a bid to sneak Group 1 winner Fifty Stars into Saturday’s $5 million All-Star Mile field.
Fifty Stars was not among the 15 horses declared as the All-Star Mile field last week but Hayes and Dabernig will accept for the stallion in Saturday’s race at The Valley.
Dabernig said the plan was based on the fact Fifty Stars would become the first emergency for the All-Star Mile with Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet a 50-50 chance to line up in the event.
Sir Dragonet struggled on firm ground when resuming in the CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield last month, prompting trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace to delay a decision on an All-Star Mile start until Tuesday morning.
Maher and Eustace want softer ground for Sir Dragonet. The option of withdrawing from the All-Star Mile in favour of a Sydney campaign remains on the table for the stallion.
Dabernig said Lindsay Park was poised to swoop on Sir Dragonet’s spot if Maher and Eustace decide to take their charge north.
“Currently, we’re the first emergency but with Sir Dragonet, there’s a bit of talk that if the track’s dry, they may not run,” Dabernig said.
Fifty Stars has raced at Flemington on the last two Saturdays. He ran second in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes before finishing 10th in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) last weekend.
Dabernig said the Australian Cup did not go to plan, resulting in Fifty Stars not being fully tested.
“Typically, it’s not something I would normally do, back them up three Saturdays in a row but as a six-year-old entire, he’s a seasoned tough horse that backs up well,” Dabernig said.
“If things had gone to plan in the Australian Cup, we probably wouldn’t do it but he drew an inside gate and never really got a crack until it was too late.
“He only got beaten two lengths and didn’t have a gut-buster.”
Dabernig said running Fifty Stars in the All-Star Mile would perfectly fit in the stable’s plans to bypass the Sydney carnival with the import.
“The only other option is to go to Sydney with him but we’re probably thinking more of the Brisbane carnival than Sydney,” Hayes said.
“I think it’s about eight weeks until Brisbane so we’ll have plenty of time to give him an easy time after the All-Star Mile.”