Russian Camelot (Image: Racing Photos)
Tasmanian trainer Bill Ryan is hoping to replicate the feats of Mystic Journey, aiming his own bargain buy Still A Star at next year's The All-Star Mile at The Valley.
Mystic Journey, an $11,000 purchase trained by Adam Trinder, claimed the inaugural race in 2019 and Ryan is now plotting his own path to the 1600-metre event with his $13,000 yearling.
The mare affectionately known as 'Minnie' may be small in stature - weighing in at just 420kg - but what she lacks in size she more than makes up for with a huge heart, according to Ryan.
"We are so proud of her," said Ryan.
"Minnie has been a great investment, she only cost $13,000 as a yearling and has already amassed $411,000 in prizemoney.
"We all think that it is worth Still A Star having a shot at The All-Star Mile and trying to follow in the footsteps of another Tasmanian, Mystic Journey, two years ago. She has her own Twitter account, and we're hopeful her big fanbase here will get behind her when the voting opens next year."
A star-studded list of nominations is being assembled for March's $5 million race at The Valley, with leading trainer Danny O'Brien nominating three horses for the race.
Stable star and Cox Plate competitor Russian Camelot leads the charge, along with three-year-olds Flying Award and Embolism, who are both are on Australian Guineas paths.
"Russian Camelot was arguably the most consistent Group 1 performer across the Spring Racing Carnival, so it is very exciting to see his name amongst the nominations for The All-Star Mile 2021," said Racing Victoria's Executive General Manager - Racing, Greg Carpenter.
"He ran an excellent race first-up over a mile in the Makybe Diva Stakes in September this year, so a repeat of that performance at The Valley on 13 March would surely see him fight out the finish in The All-Star Mile.
"Given that, as a Northern Hemisphere-bred horse, he will only turn four on 1 January 2021, there is every chance Russian Camelot will be an even better horse next year, so I would expect plenty of racing fans to rally round him when The All-Star Mile voting opens on 22 January."
Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby is also among the nominations, alongside stablemate Lunar Fox.