World’s richest mile race returning to Melbourne in 2021

The countdown to Australia’s only fan-voted horse race will officially begin tomorrow – Wednesday, 2 December – with the opening of nominations for The All-Star Mile 2021.

As part of its unique rotation, The All-Star Mile will be held for the first time at The Valley on Saturday, 13 March 2021 after launching at Flemington in 2019 and then being held at Caulfield in 2020.

The All-Star Mile will remain the world’s richest mile race with Racing Victoria (RV) today confirming it will again offer total prizemoney of $5 million.

After interstate raiders won the first two editions, with Western Australian Regal Power following Tasmania’s inaugural winner Mystic Journey, connections from right across Australia and New Zealand are again expected to stake a claim for the $2.25 million first prize.  

From 9am (AEDT) tomorrow until Monday, 11 January 2021, horses which meet the qualifying criteria can throw their hat into the ring for The All-Star Mile with each $500 nomination fee to again be donated to the Good Friday Appeal.

More than $100,000 has been raised for the Good Friday Appeal, which supports Melbourne’s renowned Royal Children’s Hospital, from entry fees across the first two All-Star Miles.

The nominated horses will then rely on the general public to get them into the race, with the top 10 vote-getters – set to be unveiled by RV on or before Friday, 19 February 2021 – guaranteed a start alongside five wildcard runners, determined by two ‘win and you’re in races’ and The All-Star Mile wildcard panel.  

Greg Carpenter, RV’s Executive General Manager – Racing, said: “Since its inception in 2019, The All-Star Mile has provided a unique and entertaining way to engage racing fans and the wider community, while delivering plenty of great storylines.

“The original All-Star Mile captured the attention of Australia’s sporting public, with more than 140,000 people voting for their favourite horse to run in the world’s richest mile race. We had a fairy-tale finish to that year’s race at Flemington, with Adam Trinder’s flying filly Mystic Journey – who cost just $11,000 – taking her earnings past the $3 million mark with an outstanding performance. 

“The second running at Caulfield in March this year, which was shaped by votes from Australia and New Zealand, was a very different experience, with no spectators allowed on track due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the day was still illuminated by the victory of Regal Power under a masterful ride by Willie Pike.

“We expect both Mystic Journey and Regal Power will prove popular with voters if they are nominated again this time, whilst we expect to see some of the stars of the spring, along with some left field entries, put their claims for The All-Star Mile 2021 in the hands of the voting public.

“One of the great things about The All-Star Mile is that it attracts horses from right across Australia and New Zealand so we’re again encouraging all owners and trainers with eligible horses to nominate their All-Star and, in the process, raise money for a very worthy cause in the Good Friday Appeal.”

After a series of adjustments between years one and two, Carpenter confirmed that the race conditions will remain unchanged from the 2020 edition which saw 10 Group 1 winners take their place in the final field of 15 All-Stars. 

A summary of the key conditions for The All-Star Mile 2021 is as follows: 

  • A three-year-old will require a minimum Victorian rating of 70 at the close of nominations to be eligible to run, while four-year-olds and upwards require a minimum Victorian rating of 80;
  • To be eligible to run a horse must have met the following minimum performance criteria between 1 February 2020 and the closure of nominations on 11 January 2021:

o placed first, second or third in a Group or Listed race; or
o have earned $20,000 or more placing first, second or third in a flat race.

  • Five wildcard runners will supplement the top 10 voted horses with the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 20 February 2021 and the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on 27 February 2021 both selected as ‘win and you’re in’ races; and
  • The All-Star Mile wildcard panel will select between three and five wildcards (subject to whether the Futurity and Blamey Stakes winners take up one), noting that horses which were not amongst the original nominations can come under consideration. 

Once the nominations phase has ended, attention then shifts to the public vote which officially launches on Friday, 22 January 2021. 

From then until Sunday, 14 February 2021, everyday Australians and New Zealanders will be able to have their say on who contests the race.

Over the first two years of The All-Star Mile, more than 275,000 fans have helped shape the field with the most popular pick in 2020, Queensland’s cult hero Alligator Blood, attracting over 18,500 votes.

One important change announced for the voting system in 2021 is that fans will be able to cast another vote should their original selection be withdrawn from the nominations list prior to the end of the voting period.  

Racing fans are encouraged to follow The All-Star Mile’s social media channels to track the nominations as they arrive over the next six weeks, ahead of the relaunch of The All-Star Mile website in January in time for the commencement of voting.

To Read the full race conditions: click here.

To view the Infographic which summarises the key dates: click here.