Tasmanian racehorse Still A Star is hoping to continue her winning journey in a $5 million race lineup decided by the nation, with her fate dependent on public votes to get her to the start line.
Her owners are hoping to garner enough public support to secure the Longford-based horse a spot in Australia's the All-Star Mile meet, a $5 million race in Melbourne and the richest mile race in the world.
She was purchased for $13,000 as a small foal, but the mare has since won her 15 owners more than $411,000 in prize money.
Out of her 12 starts, the four-year-old has finished first in seven and second in five starts in Tasmania.
However, trainer and part owner Bill Ryan hopes to increase her winning portfolio to the mainland. He said the support so far from the racing community had been amazing.
"When you consider there's 80 odd nominations for this race, and in little old Tassie she's pulled two and a half thousand votes out of all those horses, it's quite amazing," he said.
"It's really captured the public's imagination."
In about three weeks she has garnered more than 2600 votes and sits 10th out of 83 horses vying for a start come race day.
The campaign to get her to the race has also inspired a mini-series of Facebook videos around Longford.
Part owner Ron Riley agreed the support from the community in the last three weeks, since their push for a spot on the racing sheet, had been amazing.
"She has never raced in Melbourne. She's almost handicapped out of Tasmania now, there's not many races when you've got a high rating. She's a 90 rated horse," he said.
"So I just suggested to Billy that maybe we go that way, thinking he might say 'oh don't be so bloody silly' and he said 'why not?'. So that's what we're doing and you know it would be great for Billy."
Mr Ryan has been battling a rare terminal lung disease named idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which scars the lungs for an unknown reason and reduces lung capacity to the point where a lung transplant is needed.
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The 73-year-old said he was told he was too old for a lung transplant, something he disputed, but he was scaling down his training programs due to the disease.
"I've lost over 40 per cent of my lung capacity in the last three years," he said.
"We're not taking on anymore new horses, it's just getting too hard. I'll get very tired because I'm not getting enough oxygen. So, it's like working with the handbrake on all the time."
Still A Star is one of eight horses Mr Ryan is still training. And for good reason as she was voted Tasmania's Three-year-old of the Year in 2020.
Ten racehorses will be voted in by the public for the All-Star Mile event, before a further five will join the field at Moonee Valley by other means, such as wild card entry or a specified event win.
To vote visit allstarmile.com.au/vote/still-a-star. Voting closes February 12.
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