‘We’re the X-factor’: Owners pull Heart strings
HEART Of Puissance's many owners have pushed hard to get their lightly raced three-year-old colt into the $5 million All-Star Mile - and with only a few voting days remaining, it appears they have been successful.
On Wednesday, Heart Of Puissance was in seventh placing, with almost 4000 votes, but managing owner Justin Shannon said his team was not going to rest on its laurels.
"We've got some ideas for a last-minute surge, so we'll continue to push hard," Shannon said. "Last year, 5000 votes got you in and hopefully we can get to that."
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If Heart Of Puissance can get into the race, it will be only his fifth start.
He won his first two starts last spring before finishing third in the Sandown Guineas.
He will also have the most unfashionable lead-up race into the All-Star Mile, as he will run in a $50,000 Benchmark 78 over 1400m at Ballarat on Sunday week.
ALL-STAR MILE: VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE HORSE
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace were originally considering a first-up run in the Futurity Stakes but a recent setback which was a small muscular niggle led them to abandon those plans. Shannon said Heart Of Puissance had 120 owners and it had been a team effort to get so many votes.
Last year they unanimously turned down an offer of $1.6 million from Hong Kong so their horse could run in Group 1 races, and possibly the All-Star Mile.
"We're all going along for the ride.," Shannon said. "We want to race him in big races. He's got all the potential in the world."
Shannon said his ownership group, which was known as S J C Olds Boys, included six men who had known each other for 30 years, from their school days at St Joseph's College, Geelong.
Shannon said these owners had tapped into the St Joseph's Old Boys network and also the St Joseph's Football Club to gain votes. He said the Bungaree Football Club also had a 60-member syndicate and they had also worked hard to get votes.
Shannon said there was also a syndicate from Bamawm-Lockington Cricket Club as well as interstate-based owners from Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland, who had also gathered votes for him.
"We also got Corey Enright in Geelong to get behind us and we set up a Twitter page for him. It's all helped," he said. "I know there's an incredible crop of three-year-olds but we know we're they stand. I think we're the X-factor. We don't know how good he is."
ALL-STAR MILE LEADERBOARD
1. Alligator Blood (Qld) 13,316 votes
2. Melody Belle (NZ) 9139
3. Star Missile (Vic) 8921
4. Kolding (NSW) 8125
5. Catalyst (NZ) 4726
6. Mr Quickie (Vic) 4239
7. Heart Of Puissance (Vic) 3886
8. Aristia (Vic) 3785
9. Gold Fields (Vic) 3505
10. Super Seth (Vic) 3501
11. Begood Toya Mother (Vic) 3381 - doubtful
12. Galaxy Raider (Vic) 2417
13. Dalasan (SA) 2231
14. Black Heart Bart (WA) 2159
15. Mandela Effect (Tas) 1904