TEARING UP THE TRACK: Five-year-old gelding Silentz, owned by a syndicate that includes a number of local connections, is in the frame to be voted into the inaugural All-Star Mile, the world’s richest mile race, at Flemington.

By MITCH RODD

A BRAND new concept in Australian horse racing could feature an entrant supported by a number of Sunraysia connections.

The inaugural All-Star Mile will take place at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse on Saturday, March 16, but what makes it unique is the involvement of racing fans to determine how the race comes together.

Fans can vote online for their chosen horse out of 130 nominations. The 10 entrants with the most votes will secure their place in the event. The 14-horse field will be completed after Racing Victoria add four wildcards into the mix.

A syndicate that own five-year-old gelding ‘Silentz,’ however, hope their Sunraysia connections will mean voters from our area will get behind their entrant.

On the back of three consecutive victories across the 1600-metre distance, Silentz could well be a dark horse in the field.

VALUE FOR MONEY

THE story of Silentz began with a syndicate being created which includes current and ex-locals, as well as regular visitors to Mildura.

Local Hayden Allen, INSET, one of 20 names attached to the gelding, said the journey began at the Gold Coast Magic Millions in 2015 when they purchased the offspring of Snitzel and Inthemix.

“A few long-time mates, locals and ex-locals, and regular visitors to Mildura decided to put in together for a horse. Our wives are involved with us for the first time, and my father-in-law is also part of it. There is a real local connection,” Hayden said.

“We bought Silentz for the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast. He is proving to be one of the cheapest ever Snitzel colt’s bought as the current service fee alone to Snitzel is $220,000, so getting him for $65,000 is proving to be great value.”

It has indeed, and Silentz‘s career record sits at eight wins and three podium finishes from 17 jumps.

“Silentz has just won his last three races in the city, and he’s running in the form of his life, including a strong win a fortnight ago.”

After an 18-week spell finished in November, Silentz was ridden to second place by less than half a length by Harry Coffey at Warrnambool on December 13.

Chris Casserta then rode him to victory on Boxing Day at Caulfield, and Dean Yendall took him to one-length wins at Flemington on January 12, and Caulfield on Australia Day.

He is a strong chance to make it four wins in a row when he races over 1800 metres at Caulfield tomorrow.

“He’s always had a fair bit of ability, and he’s really starting to put it together. He’s won at Flemington a couple of times over the mile now, which is the All-Star Mile track and distance,” Hayden said.

“He took a little while to get going, as many horses do, but he’s been in great form. He has a really powerful finish, and that’s been his trademark. We know a few people in Sunraysia have benefitted from that in recent races and hopefully they take the time to vote for him.

“He’s also an amazing looking horse, with a striking chestnut colour.”

ALL-STARS

BASED on a concept that originated in Japan, the All-Star Mile will be the first time in Australia that racing fields are decided by the public.

The top 10 vote-getters will secure a start in The All-Star Mile, which will be run under weight-for-age conditions. A field of 14 All-Stars will ultimately be assembled, with four places reserved for wildcards nominated by Racing Victoria.

Connections of the winning All-Star will pocket $2.25million and, with prizemoney paid down to last place, the final runner home will collect $90,000.

Voting will close on Monday, February 18, with the top 10 vote-getters who provisionally accept their position in the field to be announced on Thursday, February 21. The four wildcards, will be announced on or before Monday, March 4.

Public voters can also share in $500,000 in prize money for just putting their name to a nomination. For each horse that gets voted in, one voter will be randomly selected to be 14 lucky Owner Ambassadors. All ambassadors will win at least $10,000, with first place to take home $250,000.

Hayden said the syndicates hopes Sunraysia can get behind Silentz and help get him a start in the race.

“We want to try and get into these big races,” he said. “We’d be over the moon to get a start in the race, and to win would be amazing. We’re looking for votes and hopefully the Sunraysia community can get behind us.

“It’s obviously a fair way down the track but we’ve discussed various charities that we could make donations to if we can win prize money.

“The concept is really exciting, it’s the richest mile race in the world and it would be a bit of an achievement to be part of it.

“Really it’s all about some mates trying to compete with the big boys. I think it shows that not everyone has to be a multi-millionaire to live the dream. You can purchase a horse with a heap of mates, and it’s also a great way for us to keep in touch with everyone.”

To vote for Silentz, head to allstarmile.com.au and follow the links. Silentz can also be followed on Twitter via @Silentz49471029.