A BENDIGO racing stable says it has been overwhelmed by the early support for their nomination for the $5 million All-Star Mile.
With public voting for the world’s richest 1600m race just hours old, Bendigo galloper Penny To Sell occupies a spot in the top 10.
After voting commenced at 9am on Monday morning, the Mick Sell-trained mare had garnered 281 votes by 3pm.
Under the exciting new concept, the top 10 horses from a list of 130 nominations will win inclusion into the field for the race, to be run at Flemington on March 16.
Assistant trainer and Mick’s wife Mel said the stable was touched by the early support their bonny mare, who has struck career best form with three wins from seven starts this preparation.
“It’s been so much fun (being involved), it’s taken the high-pressure out of racing and added a bit of fun,” she said.
“Instead of trying to qualify through the traditional avenues, we have our friends and family ringing us and getting behind the horse and we’re having a little giggle along the way.
“It’s attracted an amazing field and so it should, the concept is absolutely brilliant. It gives everyone a chance, from Group 1 winners down to Penny To Sell.”
Unlike some among the extensive list of nominations, Penny To Sell –a recent Flemington 1600m winner – is a genuine miler and a perfect fit for the high-profile race.
At least half of the seven-year-old’s career wins (from 55 starts) have come over the mile.
Sell said the stable had been elated with the mare’s recent form and drew comparisons with the horse which provided Mick with his biggest training success in the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes at Morphettville in 2012, Enchanting Waters.
“She’s only a little horse, but if you get her out in the open and get her free-running, she will mow them down,” Melissa said.
“If you have a look at Penny To Sell and Enchanting Waters, they’re nearly the spitting image of each other.
“(Penny To Sell) has always managed to win a race, every single preparation – being by Pentire, they get better with age and this time she’s hit cherry-ripe form.”
Penny To Sell kicked off her current preparation with a shock 150-1 win at Bendigo, with her three wins including success in the $45,000 Dunkeld Cup in November.”
Sell said the stable had benefited from support from several parts of Victoria early in their All-Star Mile bid, including Bendigo, the team’s former base at Kyneton, and Mick’s original home in Gippsland.
The mare races in the same colours – red with a blue vee – as those worn by Mick’s former football club at Buln Buln.
Voting in The All-Star Mile continues until Monday, February 18, with the top 10 guaranteed a spot in the final field.
Racing Victoria will then allocate a further four wildcards to ensure a final field of 14.
To vote for Penny To Sell, visit www.allstarmile.com.au
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