Australasian racing fans have an added incentive to vote for a horse in the All-Star Mile after Racing Victoria pledged to donate $1 for every vote cast to the Victorian bushfire appeal.
The $5 million All-Star Mile is run at Caulfield on March 14, with 10 of the 15-horse field to be determined by public vote.
Voting opens on Thursday and runs until February 16.
The top 10 vote-getters will be announced on February 20 with the remaining wildcard selections to be finalised on or before March 2.
The inaugural All-Star Mile was held in 2019 and was won by Mystic Journey.
More than 140,000 eligible votes were received from Australian residents last year and with New Zealand residents also eligible to vote in the 2020 edition, Racing Victoria officials hope to surpass that figure.
The 93 horses nominated and eligible to receive votes for a spot in the All-Star Mile include 25 Group One winners.
“Like so many people across the country and indeed the world, we have been deeply moved by the devastation caused to rural communities by the bushfires and so felt it was only right to make this pledge to assist with the huge relief effort,” Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter said.
The $500 nomination fee for the All-Star Mile, paid by the connections of each of the nominated horses, will be donated to the Good Friday Appeal, which raises money for the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.
Queensland gelding Alligator Blood, who won last Saturday’s $2 million Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast, is the $6 favourite for the race in an early market, ahead of Epsom Handicap and Golden Eagle winner Kolding, New Zealand star Melody Belle and Mystic Journey at $8.