Atishu claims All Star Mile berth with Blamey Stakes win

Atishu winning Blamey Stakes.
Atishu ridden by Blake Shinn wins the Blamey Stakes at Flemington. (Photo by George Sal/Racing Photos)

On return to her favourite track, Atishu (+300) has taken out the Group 2 Blamey Stakes thanks to a calm ride from Blake Shinn at Flemington, earning herself a run in the $4 million All Star Mile in two weeks’ time.

The Chris Waller-trained mare was coming through the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes form, where she was only able to one of the nine runners’ home over 1400m, but many believed she would enjoy further second-up, and they were correct.

The race favourite with most online bookmakers settled a lot closer to the leaders than she normally does, but it didn’t affect her finishing burst, as the daughter of Savabeel rounded her rivals up by the 100m mark and kicked clear.

Holymanz (+1000) attempted to go with the winner and stuck on well for second, while Ayrton (+650) ran home nicely and grabbed third place in the concluding stages of the race.

With the Australian Cup on the cards and the All-Star Mile now a possibility, Waller and connections will have to weigh up their options as to where they will go next with Atishu.

2024 Blamey Stakes Replay – Atishu

“She’s a genuine group one performer and she absolutely loves it here at Flemington,” Duckworth said of Atishu.

“Looking back it’s a fantastic ride from Blake and delighted to get the win, she’s obviously a valuable horse and the main thing is she’s racing in a rich of vein of form which is great to see after what looked on face value a slightly disappointing first up performance for her.

“Obviously we know she’s a filly that has had a share of issues in the barriers and a result we’ve always been riding her conservative and she’s been finishing off so well in that position so I was a little bit concerned when he was so assertive out of the gates.

“It’s all well and good if you win, but if you don’t then there are questions to be asked.

“She looked to get into a lovely rhythm and travel tractably in that position and Blake, I think was very soft on her really up until the concluding stages when he had to ask an effort for her to lift.

“I know it’s (All Star Mile) obviously sitting right there and especially now you’re in essentially.

“I know Chris’ main thoughts were, at the start of the preparation, were to try and take out the Australian Cup, that was the big ticket item that he was after, but look, five million is a lot of money.

“I’ll leave that to Chris and the owners to work out whether they go there or go straight to an Australian Cup but it’s an exciting issue to have.”

“She began really well, no tempo early, just rolled forward, it was going to be a bit messy, ended up coming back, got a bit of luck to get in, the rest was history,” Shinn said.

“I got in one out, two back on the back of Holymanz I thought the race was ours to win, it was a great effort.

“Really grateful for the opportunity, these mares are wonderful to ride when you can get a chance to ride them and they’re just different level.

“They’ve got a great will to win and even when she ran second to Pride Of Jenni in that mare’s mile here, I just loved her grit and I could see that today.

“The more I asked her the more she responded well, lovely mare, second up, in for a great prep and hopefully I can stay with her now.”

Atishu is a +1200 chance in the All Star Mile futures market with online horse betting sites.

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