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Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock’s Darren Dance knows the thrill of racing a horse in the Melbourne Cup, having watched Heartbreak City go agonisingly close to winning.
Dance hopes the ownership group of Mr Money Bags gets that same feeling when the gelding runs in the inaugural $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington on Saturday.
According to Dance, at least 60 of the ownership group and associates will be at Flemington to watch Mr Money Bags.
“It’s their Melbourne Cup, it’s their Cox Plate, it’s their big day, a once-in-a-lifetime day for these guys,” Dance said.
When the All-Star Mile was announced late last year, Dance was surprised that trainer Robbie Griffiths thought Mr Money Bags could be a candidate.
Dance was thinking of another horse to race in his colours, Social Spin.
“When Robbie rang me and said we should nominate Mr Money Bags for the All-Star Mile, I thought I’m not really sure about this,” Dance said.
“But this horse loves Flemington and the barrier (five) is going to help him.
“We’re under no illusions about the quality of the race, but from that gate it gives us some hope.
“I’d be rapt if we finish in the first half.”
Mr Money Bags is up against Group One stars Happy Clapper, Hartnell, Grunt and Alizee along with Australian Guineas placegetters Mystic Journey, Hawkshot and Amphitrite.
Since Tuesday’s barrier draw Alizee has been easy in betting and now shares the top line at $3.70 with Mystic Journey.
Happy Clapper is third favourite at $5.50 ahead of Hartnell at $10 while Mr Money Bags is considered an $81 outsider.
Dance said he would also be rapt if if one of the other “lesser lights” in the race can figure prominently.
“I would like to see one of these syndicated horses run out of his skin and fly home and run fourth or fifth or something,” Dance said.
“I think it would be great for the race. What we don’t want to see is six of them out the back in their own little race.
“Robbie’s got our bloke in great order and I’m sure he’ll run to his best.”