Nominations for the second edition of the $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) opened on Monday morning, heralding the official countdown to the world’s richest mile race at Caulfield on Saturday, 14 March 2020. Until the closure of entries at 12 noon (AEST) on Thursday, 9 January 2020, owners and trainers across Australia and New Zealand will have the chance to turn a $500 nomination fee into a cheque for $2.25 million – awarded to the winner of The All-Star Mile.
For the first time this year, New Zealand residents are eligible to join the public vote and help shape The All-Star Mile field, with the likes of Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) placegetter Te Akau Shark and his 10-time Group 1-winning stablemate Melody Belle likely to prove popular among Kiwi voters. “Enabling lovers of racing in New Zealand to vote for the first time this year will add a different dimension to The 2020 All-Star Mile, and I’m excited to see which horses are entered from across the Tasman,” Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing Greg Carpenter said.
Other changes from the original The All-Star Mile include the expansion of the field from 14 runners to 15, with the public’s top 10 vote-getters now supplemented by five wildcards. The 2020 All-Star Mile will also incorporate two ‘win and you’re in’ races, the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday, 22 February 2020, and the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m), held the following Saturday (29 February) at Flemington.
To be eligible for the race, horses must have satisfied new minimum performance criteria over the previous year at the close of nominations, as well as have an increased minimum handicap rating of 80 if aged four and above, with three-year-olds remaining at last year’s minimum rating of 70. “With nominations now officially open for the second running of The All-Star Mile, the race to succeed Mystic Journey as champion has begun in earnest,” Carpenter said. “It will be intriguing to see the tactics adopted this time by trainers and owners, and whether they nominate several horses from their stables or take a more targeted approach.
“The timing of nominations will also be interesting. We saw those who nominated early last season start to build their fan base ahead of the public vote, while others waited to see the progression of their horses over the early summer before entering. “The inaugural All-Star Mile was a huge success by any measurement, with a diverse set of nominations from stables right across Australasia, and we are very keen to build on those solid foundations and make the second edition even more memorable.”
Public voting on The All-Star Mile field will commence on Thursday, 16 January 2020 and conclude on Sunday, 16 February 2020 with further details to be released in the coming weeks. The wildcards will be confirmed by Monday, 2 March 2020. All funds raised during the nomination period will go towards The All-Star Mile’s official charity partner, the Good Friday Appeal, which supports the Royal Children’s Hospital.