I’m Thunderstruck dual favourite for the 2022 All Star Mile

I'm Thunderstruck wins at Moonee Valley
I’m Thunderstruck $4.80 favourite with Zaaki for the 2022 All Star Mile.

A total of 77 horses have been nominated for the 2022 $5 million All-Star Mile, which will be run at Flemington on March 19, with nominations closing at 12pm AEDT today (Monday, 10 January).

Heading into its fourth year, the All-Star Mile will return to the home of the inaugural running f the race, Flemington.

Of the 77 nominations, there are 20 individual Group 1 winners, including the reigning Melbourne Cup champion and Australian Horse of the Year, Verry Elleegant, along with the 2021 Victoria Derby winner Hitotsu, Doomben Cup winner Zaaki and Stradbroke Handicap winner Tofane.

As expected Chris Waller has a strong hand in the nominations, with boom filly Espiona and dual-Group 1 winner Hungry Heart among his 15 nominations.

Waller is yet to win the All-Star Mile, with his best result to date being Star Of The Seas’ sixth-placed effort in the 2021 edition behind Mugatoo.

After injuring himself during the Brisbane Winter Carnival, the reigning champion will not be back to defend his crown in 2022, however we will see the likes of Behemoth, Lunar Fox, Probabeel and Queensland hero, The Harrovian look to take their place in back-to-back runnings.

Joining The Harrovian from the Sunshine State is Michael Costa’s Axe, giving Queensland two chances at gaining a start in the race once again.

Godolphin are well-represented in the nominations for the 2022 running, with Colette and Cascadian looking to go one better than Hartnell did in the first running of the race when second to Mystic Journey.

Victoria’s leading training combination, Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, have nominated five runners, including the 2020 Cox Plate runner-up, Armory, along with Lighthouse who is undefeated in her four Australian starts, and Hitotsu.

Seven South Australian-based horses will be looking to etch their name in the history books, with last year’s third-placegetter Behemoth back for another attempt, while Regalo Di Gaetono will join Will Clarken’s trio, Beau Rossa, Second Slip and Ironclad.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott will be hoping they can add an All-Star Mile to their ever-growing resume, with last year’s competitor Shout The Bar back for another run, along with their three-year-old Group 1 winner Converge, with Silent Impact, Riodini, Entente and Vangelic also amongst their nominees.

The 2021 Golden Eagle winner, I’m Thunderstruck, is one of two nominations from the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr stable, with Group 3 Winx Guineas winner Our Playboy the other.

Probabeel flies the flag for our trans-Tasman friends, while Emma-Lee & David Browne’s well-liked gelding Elephant will be trying to secure enough votes to gain a start.

Greg Carpenter, RV’s Executive General Manager – Racing, was “delighted with the quality” of the nominations for the 2022 edition.

“We are delighted with the quality and variety of nominations received for The 2022 All-Star Mile, which have continued the theme we have seen since we started this journey back in 2019,” he said.

“As well as topliners such as Zaaki and Verry Elleegant, undoubtedly two of Australia’s very best horses, it is intriguing to see up-and-comers such as Espiona, Captivant, Hitotsu and Forgot You all nominated as well as some extremely talented imports like Maximal, Lighthouse and Armory.

“We are excited to welcome back some previous runners in Behemoth, The Harrovian, Lunar Fox, Streets Of Avalon, Regalo Di Gaetano and Shout The Bar, who all lined up in last year’s All-Star Mile; and it would be very fitting if either Tofane or Probabeel were able to sign off their final campaigns with victory in the world’s richest mile race.

“It will be interesting to see if any horses competing on Magic Millions Raceday this Saturday are entered as late nominations, and the excitement then really starts to ramp up when the voting period begins on Monday, 24 January.

“Finally, I would like to thank all owners and trainers who have embraced the race so far, and in the process helped raise almost $40,000 for our official charity, the Good Friday Appeal. I believe The All-Star Mile is more than just a horse race, and the charity component is certainly an important aspect of its broader appeal.”

I’m Thunderstruck is the current joint $4.80 favourite for the race, as he looks to continue on his impressive record from the Spring Carnival in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Sharing the top of the market with I’m Thunderstruck is Annabel Neasham’s multiple Group 1-winning seven-year-old, Zaaki.

It is then out to $11 with Sportsbet.com.au, where Probabeel sits, just ahead of Chris Waller’s undefeated filly, Espiona ($12).

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