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While the last few days of voting for next month’s All-Star Mile are crucial in deciding the make-up of the field, emerging galloper Mugatoo will attempt a different entry into the race via Saturday’s Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick.

It is planned for the fourth placegetter from last spring’s Cox Plate to follow his Apollo performance with The All-Star Mile on March 13 and while the import has slipped to 12th in voting with just days remaining, co-owner Jamie Lovett of Australian Bloodstock said connections were eyeing one of the wildcards into the race.

“That’s our plan provided he runs well on Saturday, and while he might find it hard to win at 1400 metres first-up, I think he’d be very strong late and that will set him up nicely for a mile,” Lovett said.

“You’d reckon he’d be up there leading the pack to get one (a wildcard). The formline out of the Cox Plate is incredible and there won’t be any that miss out with a formline like his.”

Mugatoo (IRE)

Trainer K.A.Lees
Age 6YO
Sex Gelding
Colour Bay
Prize Money $958,392
Last 5 1124-
Career 16-8-2-1
POS Jockey Track Date DIST Race WGT MRG Odds  

Lovett conceded the Irish-bred horse needed to perform on Saturday in a race where four horses carry higher domestic ratings.

“If he wasn’t a flashing-light sort of run, then you might struggle to be competitive at a mile next start, so he’d need to be finishing hard to consider The All-Star,” he said.

“The incredible thing with this horse is, he’s run just four times under 2000 metres in his career in Europe and in Australia and he’s won them all so 1600 metres second-up should be perfect for him at a track (The Valley) where he performed so well.”

Mugatoo was the widest runner in a dramatic Cox Plate finish where he challenged for the lead on the home turn but faded late for fourth behind Sir Dragonet, Armoury and Russian Camelot.

Also runner-up in the G1 Metropolitan (2400m) in the spring, Mugatoo was one of 10 final acceptors for Saturday’s 1400-metre Apollo, where Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant will be one of four Chris Waller-trained horses to take their place.

With the likes of Russian Camelot (eighth) and Sir Dragonet (ninth) already in the top 10 and not needing a wildcard if they remain there at the end of voting, there will be a small pack of quality gallopers including Mugatoo open to an 11th-hour entry into the race via a wildcard.

Lovett said that if Mugatoo did not gain a wildcard and was not voted in, he would stay in Sydney.

“He’ll otherwise go to the Ryder (Stakes) and then the Queen Elizabeth (Stakes),” he said.

Vote for Mugatoo>>

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