New Zealand punters will now have the opportunity to vote for their favourite horse to compete in the world’s richest mile race, The All-Star Mile.
To be held at Caulfield Racecourse for the first time on Saturday, 14 March, the second annual All-Star Mile is Australia’s only fan-voted horse race and will see the top 10 horses from a public vote secure a spot in the expanded field of 15 starters.
The core structure of The All-Star Mile will remain the same with prizemoney of $5 million, however, a fifth wildcard will be chosen by Racing Victoria (RV) and Melbourne Racing Club’s (MRC) wildcard selection panel.
There is also the introduction of two ‘win and you’re in races’ with the winners of the 2020 Futurity Stakes (1400m, Caulfield, 22 February) and the 2020 Blamey Stakes (1600m, Flemington, 29 February) guaranteed a start.
“The original All-Star Mile in March was a tremendous success attracting 140,000 votes and more than 16,000 people to Flemington who witnessed the fairy-tale victory of three-year-old filly Mystic Journey in a race that rates among the best of 2019,” RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said.
“We’re excited to announce today that we’ll be allowing racing fans in New Zealand the opportunity to also vote for their favourite horse to gain a start in The All-Star Mile.
“Will they vote for homegrown stars like Melody Belle and Te Akau Shark or put patriotism aside and vote for the likes of Mystic Journey? It will be interesting to watch.
“In building the race conditions for The All-Star Mile 2020 we wanted to consider our learnings from year one, whilst ensuring that we retained the essence of the race, that being a fan-driven contest in which a broad section of owners and trainers get the chance to compete in a lucrative, world-class event.
RV and MRC also announced a change in the allocation of prize money for horses finishing outside the top five placegetters from $90,000 each to $120,000 for the sixth to eighth-placed horses, $100,000 for ninth and 10th and $50,000 for 11th to 15th.
MRC Executive Director – Racing & Membership, Jake Norton, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the second edition of The All-Star Mile at Caulfield in 2020 and recognise the updated conditions, which will no doubt result in a more competitive campaign period and a more exciting field.
“We welcome the initiative to accept votes from our New Zealand neighbours and look forward to engaging them, and the Australian racing public, in a fierce campaign to identify the 10 most popular and best horses for the race.
“The addition of the two ‘win and you’re in’ races will provide further touchpoints for the public, the media and the industry to be involved in The All-Star Mile, as well as acting as welcome boosts to both of those race days at Caulfield and Flemington.
“As we saw last year, the world’s richest mile has the power to transcend international boundaries and become a talking point for racing across the globe, and so we look forward to seeing a field of the best local and international runners here on 14 March.”
Nominations for The All-Star Mile 2020 will open in December 2019 with voting to commence in January 2020.
The $500 entry fee will again be donated to charity.