THE Grahame Begg-trained Galaxy Raider made one final attempt to secure his spot in Australia’s richest mile race with a last to first victory at Flemington on Saturday 15 February.
Prior to running on Saturday, the Pinecliff, Mt Eliza-based runner sat just outside the top 10 on the leaderboard for the $5 million All-Star Mile which is set to be run at Caulfield in March.
With almost 2,500 votes to his name on Thursday night, the stable favourite didn’t leave anything on the track in his final bid to secure his spot in the multi-million dollar race by storming home from the rear to nail the Shane Nichols-trained, Streets of Avalon, just before the finishing post in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (1400m).
With a superb steer for young apprentice Teodore Nugent, the seven-year-old son of Hard Spun ate up the ground in the concluding stages to made it back-to-back victories at Flemington.
Trainer Grahame Begg said that they couldn’t do anymore than win on the weekend.
“I’m really pleased, it’s very satisfying with the old boy. He’s a bit of a favourite in the stable down at Pinecliff,” Begg said. “To put two wins together is fantastic.”
The back-to-back win was even more impressive when stacking up his time for the race against the other two 1400m races on the day.
Galaxy Raider clocked the quickest 1400m time for the day, running the seven furlongs in 1:22.37 – quicker than that of uber-talented three-years-old’s Alligator Blood and Catalyst who raced earlier on the card.
Begg said the way the race panned out was just perfect for his galloper to fly home late.
“With the speed of the race today, it was tailormade for him. With 52kg on his back and a month between runs and since we’ve put the blinkers back on him, he’s won his last two starts,” he said. “I think the thing with him is to keep him really well and keep him in a good frame of mind.”
Voting for the All-Star Mile has now closed with the final leaderboard set to be re-opened this week. The top 10 on the leaderboard will secure their place in the race.