Traffic concerns at The Valley ahead of All Star Mile

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Damien Oliver

A field of 15 for the $5 million All Star Mile (1600m) at The Valley on Saturday is something a number of jockeys will not have encountered at the inner-city track before.

While the run to the first turn provides a longer trip than what the Cox Plate (2040m) does, the jostling for positions will be as intense.

Damien Oliver, who rides the Danny O’Brien-trained Russian Camelot, says it will be interesting to see how Saturday’s race unfolds.

“We don’t get too many big fields at The Valley,” Oliver said.

“So, there’s going to some traffic concerns for some at some stage and our jobs as pilots are to negotiate that.

“They’ve got a good strip of track that hasn’t been raced for some time which should provide a good surface and there’s a little bit of rain on the weekend.

“Hopefully it will help my horse’s chance.”

Russian Camelot enters Saturday’s race first-up after a spring campaign that saw him race on five occasions.

Oliver has ridden Russian Camelot in a number of gallops, trials and jump-outs in preparation for his return and said the entire was short of full maturity.

“I think he’s got a little taller, he hasn’t filled out and I think we’re still not going to see the best of him until next spring,” Oliver said.

“But I still think he’s made progression from the spring.

“I think it’s great Danny is only go to give him a couple of runs this time around and hopefully it will set him up for a good spring.”

After Saturday, O’Brien is planning on running Russian Camelot in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 10.

Russian Camelot is the +700 third favourite with TAB behind Arcadia Queen (+230) and Probabeel (+320).

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