Jockey Lucy Warwick has urged punters to forgive Material Man’s last start failure in the Blamey Stakes and has tipped the galloper to bounce back in Saturday’s $5 million All Star Mile (1600m).
The gelding was unplaced as the favourite in the Blamey Stakes on March 2, following encouraging performances at his first two starts in his east coast campaign.
Warwick said Material Man, trained by her father Justin, didn’t feel right during the Blamey Stakes and was relieved to find out there was an explanation for it.
“He had a lot of excuses,” Warwick told The Races WA.
“He came back with heat stress and he didn’t feel himself after the race.
“He always runs through the line and he was done.
“He had bloods taken since and he had a virus, which isn’t great but it was great that they had something to treat.
“Since his bloods have come back, he has been good.”
Despite the confidence, Material Man will need to pass a fitness test conducted by Racing Victoria’s veterinary staff tomorrow, after he presented with lameness in his front left limb earlier today.
Material Man was allotted barrier 10 for the All Star Mile at Tuesday’s barrier draw, but could come in to barrier eight if the four emergencies are withdrawn.
Warwick said the wide draw may be to the seven-year-old’s liking after a string of inside draws in earlier races this campaign.
“He’s drawn an average gate, so we might ride him a bit colder,” she said.
“There’s plenty of time to get in if you’re drawn wide.
“The speed might suit him and see if we can sprint over them.
“Hopefully we can tuck in somewhere and then there’s a long straight to run them down.”
Material Man opened a $26 chance when the TABtouch final field market was released and has since been supported into $21.
Godolphin mare Alizee heads up the market at $3.60, ahead of Australian Guineas winner Mystic Journey ($3.80), while veteran gallopers Happy Clapper ($5) and Hartnell ($10) have also commanded respect.
A number of those fancied runners also received wide draws, with Alizee (12), Amphitrite (14), Grunt (15) and Mystic Journey (16) all outside Material Man.
Warwick said she was excited at the prospect of riding in the first edition of the All Star Mile.
“I’m pretty excited now,” she said.
“I think I was a bit nervous the first time and I’ve had two runs since, so all the nerves are gone.
“The whole family is coming over.”
Warwick will also team up with tough sprinter Quilista for the first time since January 2017 in the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Trophy (1200m) at Flemington, the same race she won on this program last year.
Warwick said she expected the mare, now under the care of her father, to put in a strong showing first-up.
“She had a jump out at Bendigo and all went well,” she said.
“She settled nicely, which is one of the things she didn’t really like to do.
“It’s 1200 up the straight, so hopefully I can leave her alone and be a passenger.”
The All Star Mile gets underway at 2.10 on Saturday afternoon.