South Australia has at least two confirmed starters in the $5 million All-Star Mile – and they have vastly different backgrounds.
Dual Group 1 winner Behemoth had been near the top of public voting for the 1600m headline-grabbing feature – to be run at Moonee Valley on March 13 – for weeks, and was assured of a slot on performances, let alone votes.
The David Jolly-trained star is among the favourites for tomorrow’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield and if his form holds will be among the popular picks for the All-Star Mile.
South Australia’s second confirmed starter is Regalo Di Gaetano, which has harnessed the support of the Italian community – plus those who love an underdog story – to be the biggest surprise inclusion in the top 10, coming in at number seven.
The gelding continues the Jolly connection, being trained by Richard and Chantelle at Morphettville.
A spokesperson for the ownership group, which has a strong Italian flavour, said connections were “thrilled” to hear this morning’s news.
“It’s like a dream come true for us,” the spokesperson said.
“It’s not about the money, it’s just about the journey.”
Carrying silks bearing the green, white and red colours of the Italian flag, and with a story stretching back 30 years and involving a local Italian family, Regalo Di Gaetano rocketed up the ladder once the horse’s background hit the media.
Morvada – trained by Peter Jolly – could make it an SA and family treble in the big race, if he can win his way through next weekend.