Punters embrace epic All-Star Mile at The Valley

Figures released today by Racing Victoria (RV) show that The All-Star Mile, held for the first time at The Valley on 13 March, was the highest turnover race of Victoria’s 2021 Festival of Racing.

The Festival of Racing, which took in nine Group 1 races and 17 country cups in addition to The All-Star Mile, concluded last Saturday, 20 March with the Mornington Cup after commencing with the C.F.Orr Stakes meeting on 6 February.

The third annual The All-Star Mile, in which New South Wales’ Mugatoo prevailed over local hero Russian Camelot in a thrilling contest after the morning scratching of favourite Arcadia Queen, attracted record wagering turnover of $17.88 million – an increase of 12% on 2020.

The top five races over the Festival of Racing, in order of turnover, were The All-Star Mile, Newmarket Handicap, Blue Diamond, Australian Cup and Futurity Stakes.

Overall turnover on The All-Star Mile meeting, the second half of which was conducted under inclement weather that resulted in track downgrades, was a record $70.32 million – an increase of 26.5% on the 2020 edition.

In addition to strong support from punters, The All-Star Mile also exceeded the Group 1 benchmark for the third year in succession, underlining the quality of Australia’s only fan-voted race.

RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said: “The All-Star Mile at The Valley was an amazing race bringing together nine Group 1 winners, the fairytale horses and our ultimate All-Star in Mugatoo – a Group 1 winner in waiting.

“Despite COVID restrictions on the crowd and the arrival mid-meeting of significant rain, there was a tremendous atmosphere at The Valley which created a real buzz and emphasised the great disappointment of lost crowds over the past 12 months.

“Punters right across Australia certainly embraced The All-Star Mile investing a record amount on the race, despite the high-profile raceday scratching on vets’ advice of Arcadia Queen who was the most popular horse in the public vote.

“The support for The All-Star Mile is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that at $17.88 million, it was the highest turnover race held during the 2021 Festival of Racing and indeed the highest since Melbourne Cup Week.”

The All-Star Mile is provisionally scheduled to return to inaugural host Flemington next March with the annual review of the race between RV and Victoria’s three metropolitan Clubs, which will occur over the coming months, to ultimately determine the plans for 2021.