Western Australian racing fans have rallied behind star local galloper Material Man and his bid to contest the $5 million The All Star-Mile at Flemington on March 16.
With close to 30,000 votes lodged after the first full day (Monday) of voting to find the first 10 of the 14 runners to contest the inaugural race, Material Man sits in 9th position.
Racing Victoria will select four wild-cards to complete the line-up.
Restricted class galloper Urban Ruler, trained by Chris Munce in Queensland after commencing his career with Greg Eurell at Cranbourne, sits at the top of the table with 3254 votes.
Classy three-year-old colt, The Autumn Sun, a winner in five of six races including the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) and Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), holds second place.
Material Man, who shared last season’s WA Racing Horse of the Year honours with Pounamu, is Western Australia’s sole representative following Gatting’s withdrawal.
The All Star Mile will be the third leg of a Melbourne autumn campaign for Material Man.
Trainer Justin Warwick said the seven-year-old will target the Orr Stakes (1400m) and Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 9 and 23 respectively.
“It’s a long, long way away from today (Tuesday) to get there,” Warwick told Tabradio.
“We’ll concentrate on the Orr Stakes and the Futurity and obviously do our best in them.
“It’s a long way to survive and keep your horse in one piece for then.
“We’ll just try and make every post a winner in the meantime.
“If the horse is still alive and still capable and we have been lucky enough to get enough votes we will go in it.
“But there are a lot of hurdles to overcome from a horse trainer’s point of view.”
Material Man, a son of Vital Equine, will warm up for his Melbourne campaign with a Lark Hill trial next Tuesday.
Public voting for the All Star Mile, eligible to Australian residents aged 18 or over, closes on February 18.
Votes can be registered at www.allstarmile.com.au.
|2nd||The Autumn Sun||2309|
|3rd||Mss N’ Dale||1173|
|5th||Man Of His Word||1137|
|7th||Mr Money Bags||957|
Votes as end of Monday February 21.