The price on Jamie Richards’ brilliant New Zealand-trained mare Probabeel to win next month’s $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) at The Valley has firmed after her outstanding win in the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The first of three elite level races on the Blue Diamond Stakes Day program, the Futurity Stakes featured a red-hot field of horses that had travelled from far and wide to face off in the time-honoured event.
From across the Tasman, four-year-old Probabeel made it two-from-two at the track after she carted 60kg to victory first-up on February 6 in the Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes.
She was brilliant from a wide gate in the Group 1, relishing the speed in the race set by the front-runner Crosshaven.
Jockey Damian Lane continued associations and went on to celebrate his 23rd career Group 1 success when Probabeel charged home the closing stages to put away the top-class field.
“To sit deep, in that quality of field and put them away pretty comfortably in the end was a terrific effort,” stable rep Brad Taylor told the media post-win.
“She’s a grand, fit mare now and the whole team can be proud of her.
“A really good turn of foot. She showed that here first-up too. When she sprinted clear of them (today) it was a nice watch the last hundred.”
Winner of the Epsom Handicap in Sydney last spring, the daughter of Savabeel was well-backed jumping equal favourite with Behemoth in the Futurity.
Behemoth looked to have gotten the ideal run sitting third the fence throughout and presented on the straight, but eventually only managed to run fourth.
Second went to the WA-trained Arcadia Queen in a brave first-up performance by the daughter of Pierro who won the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes – Mackinnon Stakes double over 2000m last time in.
Arcadia Queen was the top placed vote-getter for the 2021 The All-Star Mile to run at The Valley on March 13 where she will be out to turn the tables on Probabeel who is also guaranteed a start in the third edition of the event.
Probabeel and Arcadia Queen are the top two fancied in all-in The All Star Mile betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4 and $4.20 respectively.
Rocketing home for third to complete the Futurity Stakes trifecta was the spring’s Toorak Handicap winner Mr Quickie.
The Futurity Stakes results saw Matamata-based horseman Richards, at only 31-years-old, post his 40th career Group 1 success in an absolutely incredible effort.
“He’s been a very good mate to me,” Taylor said of Richards.
“I take a lot of inspiration for what he does.
“He’s dedicated his life to it…for days like this, he deserves everything he gets.”