Queensland bush freak The Harrovian will contest the All-Star Mile for Cairns owner Tom Hedley

Far north Queensland hotel and property high-flyer Tom Hedley never gave it a second thought when he paid $20,000 for The Harrovian and says it’s crazy to think he is guaranteed to earn more than twice that in Saturday’s All-Star Mile.

The Harrovian, the bush wonder who won 11 straight races before the winning sequence was snapped last start, is the second roughest in the $5 million All-Star Mile according to bookies who have the Toby and Trent Edmonds-trained gelding as a $51 shot.

The Harrovian winning at Doomben. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography.Source:The Courier-Mail

But Cairns-based Hedley, who has about 100 horses on the books including owning 90 per cent of The Harrovian, is convinced his popular Queensland horse will run far better than his price suggests at The Valley on Saturday.

Regardless, the owners who have already been on a magic carpet ride with The Harrovian’s extraordinary journey, will pick up $50,000 prizemoney even if he runs last.

Hedley owned last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Tyzone but he wasn’t able to get to Brisbane due to COVID restrictions at the time – but nothing will keep him away from The Valley on Saturday.

The Harrovian’s winning streak is now broken, with the galloper finishing fifth after racing in restricted room in the Group 2 Shaftesbury Avenue Stakes at Flemington last month, but that means the owners can simply relax and enjoy one of the thrills of a racing lifetime on Saturday.

“I was never worried about the winning streak, it didn’t worry me one iota, it’s just a beautiful feeling having a nice horse,” Hedley said.

“I have owned horses for a very long time and to be honest we can’t lose on Saturday, we are guaranteed $50,000 and that covers the expenses.

“The great thing with this horse is he is a trier and everyone seems to love him.

“I’ve got six pubs and often I will be wandering around one of my pubs, just in my own world, when someone will come up and ask me about this horse.

“He has been great for racing in Cairns and in Queensland.

“The ride we have been on with him has pretty quick really when I think about it.

“When I bought him (at the start of his career he was trained in Victoria by Jim Conlan) he didn’t have much form to be honest.

“I paid $20,000 for him and I didn’t really give it a second thought, I thought that maybe he could win two or three races in Cairns.”

Owner Tom Hedley (with jockey Blake Shinn). Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography.Source:Supplied

The All-Star Mile was never originally on the agenda for The Harrovian until the seed was planted in Hedley’s mind when he did an interview with a Melbourne radio station during The Harrovian’s winning streak.

It only cost $500 to nominate and The Harrovian’s fan club did the rest, the seven-year-old securing a spot in the All-Star Mile thanks to public votes.

The Harrovian’s colours were lowered when he finished fifth first-up at Flemington but Hedley is expecting an improved ride from Brisbane jockey Brad Stewart in the All-Star Mile.

“I’m sure Brad has given himself a lot of uppercuts for not giving this horse every possible chance last time,” Hedley said.

“That race was winnable for us and the result was disappointing because he was doing his best work late.”

Queensland cult horse The Harrovian (outside) enjoys his first look at The Valley with Wise Counsel (@cmaherracing).

Can the @EdmondsRacing son of Fastnet Rock be the story of the @allstarmile#LoveTheValleypic.twitter.com/edm2I9ULvv

The Harrovian had his first gallop at The Valley on Tuesday, with Toby Edmonds saying the galloper had got around the track “no problems.”

Originally published asThe Harrovian has Hedley’s heart in All-Star Mile longshot bid

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