Alligator snaps back to form in Champions Mile

5 November 2022 Written by Racing & Sports

A freshened Alligator Blood has taken out the Group 1 Champions Mile at Flemington.

A drop back in trip has provided Alligator Blood a second Group 1 win of the Melbourne Spring Carnival. 

Leading throughout over the 1600m of the Champions Mile at Flemington on Saturday, Alligator Blood confirmed his status as one of Australia's best milers. 

A winner of the Group 1 Australian Guineas as a three-year-old, the now six-year-old spent time in the wilderness with a back injury. 

But Alligator Blood showed he was back with a fighting win in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Sandown in September which had followed a narrow second to I'm Thunderstruck in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. 

After being stepped up to 2000m to finish fifth in the Might And Power Stakes and the Cox Plate, both times behind Anamoe, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott elected to bring Alligator Blood back to 1600m on Saturday. 

Taken straight to the front by Tim Clark, Alligator Blood ($5.50) scored a half-length win from Tuvalu ($12) with Mr Brightside ($11) a further three-quarters-of-a-length away third. 

Waterhouse said it was a relief to see Alligator Blood back in winning form. 

"Absolute relief," Waterhouse said. 

"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 (part-owner) Gerry (Harvey). 

"I bow to their superior knowledge because they were completely right. 

"Tim was able to use his speed from the gates, and it was 'see you later Alligator'." 

Run for the first time at weight-for-age as part as "Champions Day", Waterhouse said the change had proven its worth with a high-class race on Saturday 

"It's certainly proven for those horses who have gone through the handicap and come into open class," Waterhouse said. 

"He has 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." 

Clark said it was a masterful training effort by the Waterhouse and Bott stable to enable Alligator Blood to freshen up for a shot at Saturday's race after two unplaced efforts at 2000m. 

"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," Clark said. 

"They've kept him up that extra couple of weeks and looked after him. 

"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 and obviously didn't have Zaaki on speed with him, but he still was able to flow nicely and importantly he relaxed really well to give a good, strong kick. 

"What a wonderful job and I can't thank Gai and Adrian enough."