2021 All-Star Mile: Country trainer Neil Dyer nominates ex-Chris Waller galloper Kaonic for $5 million feature

Neil Dyer will need to give foreman, son James, a hefty raise should the Kyneton horsemen get ex-Chris Waller gelding Kaonic into the All-Star Mile.

An ex-Sydney horse, who raced in Brisbane most recently, bought by a Kyneton trainer for Northern Territory clients, hoping to win the Darwin Cup, has entered the All-Star Mile sweepstakes.

Neil Dyer acquired Kaonic, formerly with Chris Waller, last month but already the tree change, being trained exclusively “out of the paddock”, has worked wonders for the seasoned galloper.

Kaonic was not for sale when the Dyers, Neil and son James, 20, first inquired but their persistence paid off eventually with the gelding being sold for a “bargain” undisclosed amount.

An executive of a Top End construction and development company is in the ownership of Kaonic.

“He‘s 50 per cent owned in the NT and several other stable clients down here are in him,” Dyer said.

“You never know, it could be looked at as a Northern Territory nomination for the race and the Northern Territory might jump on, that‘d be good.

“It (All-Star Mile) would be a good option and hopefully we can use the Northern Territory contacts to get some votes to try and get in.”

Kaonic looked to have above average ability early on, winning five of his first 12 races, including the 2018 Listed Melbourne Cup Plate at Flemington.

But Waller and connections were made to wait two years — and 16 starts — to taste success again.

After the breakthrough win last August, Kaonic had three more starts for the juggernaut operation.

“I‘m not saying we can improve him off Chris Waller’s training,” Dyer said.

“I‘m just hoping the way we train him at home might rekindle his interests.

“He‘s a beautiful honest horse, like a pet dog, a lovely style of a horse.

“You can understand why he‘s been a classy racehorse at one stage of his life … whether or not we can race him to that height of ability again … remains to be seen.”

Kaonic will spend another four weeks training “in a holiday resort” before Dyer ramps up the preparation towards the All-Star Mile, should the public vote, which starts on January 22, justify.

“His characteristics in the paddock is like he‘s in a holiday resort,” Dyer said.

“It‘s about a five acre paddock and when you come to get him of a morning he comes up to you to get the head collar on, so I think he’s happy to go out and do a bit of work.

“He lives in the paddock, instead of being in a stable or a covered yard, he lives there night and day but still gets fed like a racehorse … the only difference is the house.

“It‘s good for their mind, if they cop it all right, and he is.”



King Of Hastings will progress to the Gold Coast after his gutsy Randwick victory.

Trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman will decide between the $1 million Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) or MM Cup (1400m) at Gold Coast on Saturday.

The four year-old gelding, a winner of $475,050 in career prize money, was elevated to fourth in the $2m MM Guineas last year following Alligator Blood’s disqualification.

The barrier draws for the $2m MM Classic and Guineas will be held on Tuesday morning on the Surfers Paradise foreshore.


Melbourne Storm legend Billy Slater will be hoping for another nice result at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Slater has a home-bred Redoute’s Choice colt, Lot 402, going under the hammer on Wednesday as part of the Arrowfield Stud draft.

The NRL legend sold Wandjina colt, Inner Spirit, out of Slater Thoroughbreds’ broodmare Inishowen, for $180,000 to Ciaron Maher at the 2019 Gold Coast yearling sale.

Inner Spirit ran third on debut at Kilmore last October as a three-year-old.


Apprentice jockeys Thomas Stockdale and Matthew Cartwright both received sanctions for whip breaches at Flemington on Saturday.

Stockdale was suspended for 10 meetings starting midnight January 16 after pleaded guilty to striking runner-up Huntly Castle 10 times (five more than permitted) before the last 100m.

He was also fined $500 for the Race 8 indiscretion.

Apprentice Matthew Cartwright was hit with a $300 breach after striking Hunamosa nine times with the whip before the last 100m in Race 4.


Jockeys Damian Lane and Jordan Childs could offer no excuses for the respective flops of White Hibiscus ($1.55 fav) and Mosh Music (easing $4.40 elect).

Lane reported White Hibiscus was disappointing 150m into Race 3, not suited by having to settle at the rear of the field.

Lane shifted out on the Danny O’Brien-trained ex-Kiwi mare at the 600m but her run was short-lived.

Mosh Music got every chance in Race 6, according to Childs, who reported the mare would be better suited next start up in distance.


Kilmore starts the racing week in Victoria on Tuesday with an eight-event card.

Yarra Valley on Wednesday acts as the curtain-raiser for the twilight meeting at Caulfield, while Ararat and Pakenham (night) share the spoils on Thursday.

Geelong and The Valley (night) round out the working week ahead of a busy Saturday, with racing at Flemington, Camperdown and Woolamai (picnic).

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AFL 2020: Richmond Tigers, Punt Road Oval redevelopment, Jack Dyer Stand, North Melbourne Kangaroos, Arden Street

Richmond and North Melbourne have both welcomed funding from the state government, allowing them to redevelop their spiritual homes of Punt Road and Arden Street respectively.

The Victorian government will contribute $15.5 million of the $60 million needed to upgrade Punt Road Oval so it can fully house Richmond’s multiple teams, community activities and more fans for games.

The oval itself will be re-sized to the dimensions of the MCG, and upgraded to allow crowds of up to 8000 at AFLW and VFL games, while the William Cooper Centre – named after the Indigenous activist who died in 1941 – will house facilities for on and off-field needs.

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Grand Final

However the redevelopment will force the Jack Dyer Stand, which dates back to 1914, to be demolished.

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