Western Empire vying for All-Star Mile berth

Western Empire will make his claim for a berth in the A$5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) when he lines-up in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Owner Bob Peters is aiming three of his horses for the rich feature, including 2020 victor Regal Power, but he is leaning towards New Zealand-bred Western Empire as his main chance.

“I am leaning towards him (in The All-Star Mile), but we’ll see how he goes in this,” Peters told Racing.com.

“There are a couple of others I am thinking about entering. Regal Power and Superstorm. We’ll work it out as we go along.”

Peters isn’t overly enthusiastic about Western Empire’s chances over 1200m on Saturday, a distance well short of his best.

“He was disappointing in the spring but, he’s doing everything we’ve asked of him,” Peters said of the John Leek-trained five-year-old.

“This will give us a good guide on how he’s going.”

Bred and raced by the Peters, Western Empire is by former Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Iffraaj and is out of Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) winner Western Jewel.

He was a dominant force in Perth for original trainers Grant and Alana Williams, posting six consecutive stakes wins, including the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m), Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m), and Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m), before joining Danny O’Brien’s Barwon Heads barn where he was fifth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in spring.

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