Alligator Grabs Fourth Gr1 Victory

Son of All Too Hard is too strong for them

Alligator Blood confirmed his status as one of Australia’s best middle distance performers with a brilliant all the way win in Saturday’s A$3 million Gr1 Champions Mile at Flemington.

Sent out a A$5.50 chance with bookmakers, Alligator Blood controlled the race from the front and gave a good kick when asked by rider Tim Clark.

Despite determined challenges from a crack field of milers, the son of All Too Hard was able to hold out all rivals for a strong half length success – his fourth at Group One level.

Alligator Blood (All Too Hard – Lake Superior) ridden by Tim Clark winning the (G1) Champions Mile (Photo Credit: Darren Tindale – The Image is Everything © The Image is Everything – Bronwen Healy & Darren Tindale Photography)

Alligator Blood appreciated the drop to a mile after a gallant fifth when just 2.1 lengths from Anamoe in the recent Cox Plate.

“He won at Sandown beating so many of the horses that he was up against today and Adrian was adamant about the mile and so was Gerry (Harvey, part owner), and I bow to their superior knowledge because they were completely right,” Waterhouse said.

“Tim was able to use his speed from the gates, he stuck to the fence and it was ‘see you later Alligator’.”

“We are thrilled. I know Adrian will get huge satisfaction, Gerry will be looking at the dollars and cents which, well done, I told him we’d give him both today, not only give him the dollars and cents but we’d give him the trophy as well.”

“It’s a wonderful thing. This horse has gone through a lot with his back injury, he’s come through it, he’s racing in superb fashion and today he just showed he was the best of the best.”

“He was raced in the best weight-for-age race which is of course the Cox Plate, now to this which is probably his better distance. It was fabulous.”

The relationship between Alligator Blood and star Sydney rider Tim Clark has quickly established into one of the most potent in the country with three Group One wins this year.

“He was well set up coming back from the 2000 (metres),” Clark pointed out. “He is at the back end of a really tough campaign and full credit to Gai and Adrian and Bec and Dave, the staff down here, they’ve kept him up that extra couple of weeks and looked after him.”

“He’s just had a wonderful prep the whole way through and he’s never let us down.”

“It’s great to see him get another Group 1 on the board. He wears his heart on his sleeve, he’s as tough as they come. He was able to flow nicely and importantly he relaxed really well to give a good, strong kick.”

“He was happy (during the run). He got into a lovely rhythm and flowed. He was relaxed and looped in the reins. He was just enjoying it.”

“When he got out to 2000m he was still just that little bit keen where back to the mile, that tempo he relaxed a lot better.”

“I had to ride my race and get my job right, get my sectionals right and I had full faith in my horse.”

The relationship with Alligator Blood is now the most lucrative at racing’s elite level for Clark.

“They’re my sole Group Ones down here with him,” Clark noted. “He actually becomes the horse I’ve ridden the most amount of Group Ones on with three, it’s happened very quickly and hopefully it’s not the end of the journey.”

Alligator Blood is one of two winners produced by the unraced Encosta de Lago mare Lake Superior. He was bred by Gerry Harvey’s Baramul Stud and originally sold for A$55,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Harvey recently purchased a major interest in his homebred star and he shares ownership with original owners Jeff and Robyn Simpson. Alligator Blood has now earned over A$5.5 million in prizemoney.

Lake Superior, from the multiple Group One placegetter Kylikwong, is a half sister stakes performers Cantonese, Chateau Margaux and Monteux.

Kylikwong in turn is a full sister to former Australian Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy – both being progeny from the former South African champion mare Tracy’s Element.

Meanwhile, Ellsberg rounded out a stunning spring campaign when he stretched out to 1800 metres to win today’s Rosehill feature, the A$2 million Five Diamonds in track record time.

A son of Spill the Beans, Ellsberg was originally a A$50,000 National Weanling Sale buy from Kitchwin Hills before fetching A$280,000 at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale for Segenhoe Stud.

His yearling sale buyer was Gerald Ryan, who shares training duties with Sterling Alexiou and they were beaming after the race alongside rider Tommy Berry.

“Gee I had it won after a furlong,” Berry noted. “He got into such a lovely rhythm for me. He quickened at the right time before the corner. I thought I’d try to get a few of them off the bit. The only thing I was worried about was how firm the track was.”

Ellsberg’s earnings currently sit at an imposing A$3.3 million.

Other Magic Millions graduates to notch stakes wins on the day included Sheeza Belter (Gold Standard) in the Group Two Hot Danish at Rosehill, Butler (Playing God) in the Listed Fairetha at Ascot, Magic Time (Hellbent) in the Listed Amanda Elliott at Flemington and Campionessa (Contributor) in the Listed Metropolitan Trophy at Riccarton in New Zealand.

  • Winner: Alligator Blood
  • Breeding: All Too Hard-Lake Superior (Encosta de Lago)
  • Breeder: Mr G Harvey
  • Race: VRC Champions Mile Gr1 (1600m)
  • Sold for: A$55,000
  • Sale: 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
  • Vendor: Baramul Stud
  • Buyer: Ezybonds No 1 Syndicate
  • Earnings: A$5,589,575
  • Owners: G Harvey, Mrs R Simpson & J A Simpson
  • Trainer(s): Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott (Flemington)

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