Alligator Blood wins another Grade 1

The amazing Alligator Blood is now clear favourite for next month’s $5 million All-Star Mile after a superb front-running ride by Blake Shinn which saw him run away with the G1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Ladbrokes Park Sandown.

In an incredible twist of fortune for Shinn, he took his first G1 on Alligator Blood since returning to ride in Victoria, and it came a little more than half an hour after suffering a thoroughly luckless ride on unplaced Blue Diamond Stakes second-favourite Steel City.

“It means a lot,” Shinn said of the win. “I probably should have had one 30 minutes ago in the Blue Diamond. My horse never got out.

“But it is amazing, 35 minutes in racing. You just have to keep your head up and it is just thrilling to come back to Victoria – I’ve only been back a relatively short time – and to get the support of the trainers and owners and to ride such a headline horse like Alligator Blood, it is such a privilege.”

Adrian Bott, who co-trains the star galloper with Gai Waterhouse, said Alligator Blood deserves all the credit for his win.

“He really is a phenomenal racehorse,” he said.

“Everything has been based around the All-Star Mile. We had a couple of ideas whether to kick-off in the Orr or the Futurity, but we were guided by him throughout the campaign.

“We just felt that he needed that bit more time. We thought we could have him peaking second-up.”

I’m Thunderstruck ($2.90) loomed to win inside the final 400m, but Alligator Blood ($2.80) fought him off, and then held off a late charge from Mr Brightside. 

Michael Kent Jr said I’m Thunderstruck looked to race a little flat second-up. 

“Jamie (Kah) came back and said second-up, possibly a bit flat, and had the edge off him,” Kent Jr said. “She did everything right, he gave her a soft ride and he ran true and straight.

“I wonder if Sandown is the best track for this horse? He hasn’t had much joy here, maybe with his big stride getting down that dip.

“Nothing changes, he is a beautiful sound horse and are happy with how he is training.

“Three weeks to Moonee Valley, a track he loves, third-up and fit and hopefully ready to go.

“Always going to be query second-up 1400m in a small tactical race. This horse is best when there is pace on over a mile or a touch further.

“I was giggling to myself. He was going beautiful and striding nicely and in rhythm. At the 200m, I thought we were a real show.

“Mr Brightside passed him, who probably has a better 400m dash than him, to be fair, at his two runs at 1400m.

“But I am really looking forward to the All-Star Mile – genuine tempo, full field, loves The Valley, third-up and ready to go.”

JD Hayes said the Lindsay Park team was thrilled with Mr Brightside’s closing effort for second.

“Oh geez, he’s done that twice now and rattled off some extreme sectionals, and I couldn’t be more happy with the horse’s performances,” Hayes said.

“He has got All-Star Mile written all over him, and just needs a bit of luck in running there and I think he will hold good account of himself as he always does.

“Craig (Williams) is just in awe of how this horse has improved last prep to this prep.

“We noted that coming in he’s just a lot more furnished and stronger and I think he has arrived.

“I think he has put the writing on the wall he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming months.” text and racing photos 

© 2009 All rights reserved.