Tough five year old Streets Of Avalon has scored a wild card entry into The All-Star Mile after an all the way win in the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield today.
Winning jockey Ben Melham took full advantage of the Caulfield track favouring the on-pace runners and took Streets Of Avalon straight to the front in the eight horse Futurity Stakes field.
Winning trainer Shane Nichols only nominated Streets Of Avalon for the Futurity Stakes knowing that it was going to be a small field and that his gelding would be the potential leader.
Streets Of Avalon finished second at Flemington last Saturday in a 1400m Handicap and Nichols said that the gelding had pulled up in great order.
“The staff had taken him to the beach on Sunday, he was in good nick, and he does back up well,” Nichols said.
“We knew the noms weren’t strong in numbers so on Monday we thought we would just have a look and on Tuesday there didn’t seem to be any natural leader in the race.”
“And we thought there was chance to lead as the day had been panning out and he was in the perfect spot.”
Melham rated Streets Of Avalon ($9.50) perfectly in front under his 59kg and the gelding was able to find plenty of courage in the straight to hold out the lightly weighted three year old Super Seth ($2.60 favourite) to keep a head margin when the judge called a halt.
The multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Melody Belle ($4.20) was brave in defeat and stuck on for third while the disappointment in the race was the Chris Waller trained Kolding ($4.40) who never threatened at all to finish in fifth place, six lengths from the winner.
Streets Of Avalon is now marked at $21 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $5m The All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield on March 14.