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History Of The Autumn Racing Carnival In Australia: All Star Mile Edition

History Of The Autumn Racing Carnival In Australia: All Star Mile Edition

Australia undoubtedly qualifies as the home of horse racing. Every year, racing carnivals all over the country stage over 190,000 thoroughbred races. The organization of these carnivals is based mainly on the four seasons. And for this article, the focus will be on the Autumn Racing Carnival, specifically on the All-Star Mile run. (1)

The Autumn racing carnival

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The Autumn Racing Carnival has been around for as long as horse racing has been in Australia. It takes place during the autumn months, from March to May, in three of the country’s major cities: Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide. The Melbourne autumn race goes down in three of Melbourne’s finest racetracks—at Flemington, Caulfield, and Moonee Valley. It consists of various stakes class races, from Groups 1 to 3. Some of these races include the following:

  • Australian Guineas
  • Newmarket Handicap
  • William Reid Stakes
  • All-Star Mile (2)

All-Star Mile race

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The first All Star Mile race took place on March 16, 2019, in the Flemington Racecourse. It’s a 1600-m race with contestants competing to bag the prize money amounting to around USD$3.5 million. With this kind of money, the All-Star Mile race qualifies as the richest three-year-old race of the Australian autumn. This year, the race was held at Moonee Valley on March 13, with the first race kicking off at 12:15 p.m. local time. (3)

This race draws inspiration from Japan’s Arima Kinen, a prominent fan-voted race, which was elevated from a Domestic Grade 1 to an International Group 1 race in 2007. This race is popular among many, with over a million fans presently voting. Every vote from a fan gives them a chance to win an attractive sum from the competition prize pool, which is perhaps the reason for this race’s growing popularity. (5)

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Additionally, punters and bookkeepers also wait for opportunities to place their bets on the winning horses. So if you fall under either category, this is your chance to support your favorite horse while making money.

Horses and jockeys All-Star Mile

A total of 15 middle-distance horses run in weight-for-age conditions for the All-Star Mile race. Eligible horses should be three years and over and may come from any part of the globe.

Additionally, the benchmark handicap rating for a thoroughbred horse should be met. In 2019, the rating limit was 70. In 2020, this changed to 80 or up for horses more than three years old, with the limit for three-year-olds still being 70 or up. This year, some of the jockeys riding the horses also took part in other major races, such as the Golden Slipper.

All-Star Mile race voting

To be eligible for selection by the public, horse owners must first pay around USD$356 as an entry fee for their horses. Like Arima Kinen, the horses selected for this race are voted for by fans 18 years or older.

If you’re a fan, you have the chance to vote for 10 of the nominated horses, with the remaining five slots reserved for the wild card entry. This year, the horse racing authority, Racing Victoria, allocated the five wildcards to companies, which would each nominate a finalist horse. Nominations for the 2022 entries kicked off on December 7 and will close on January 10 next year. Afterward, fans will begin voting for their favorite horses online, an exercise that would go on for four weeks.

In its first two years, only fans from Australia were allowed to vote. However, as of this year’s All-Star Mile run, fans from New Zealand likewise joined the voting team.

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Winners

For the 2019 race, Tasmanian Mystic Journey beat 13 other contenders to cross the finish line first, taking home a whopping ~USD$1.6 million. In 2020, Western Australia’s Regal Power claimed the race with jockey William Pike. And this year, jockey Hugh Bowman rode Mugatoo to the finish line first. (4)

Charity

The entry fee paid by each horse gets donated to the Good Friday Appeal, a charity organization that raises funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Ever since its inception in 2019, the All-Star Mile race has raised more than USD$71,250. (5)

Conclusion

The All-Star Mile horse race goes down in Melbourne yearly from March to May. It’s still fairly new, having been introduced only two years ago. Despite this, it’s gaining popularity quickly as it actively involves fans, who vote for the majority of the racing horses. To date, it has had three successful contests and has so far been labeled as the richest three-year-old horse Australian autumn race. Another remarkable thing about this horse race is that the entry fees for the horses go to charity activities, making it not just a race but also a noble cause.

References

1. “Scope and contribution of Australian thoroughbred racing”, Source: https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=e3f92122-7db7-4749-a2dc-5d4d63aa22ba&subId=410209

2. “Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival 2021”, Source: https://www.horseracinginfo.com.au/melbourne-autumn-racing-carnival.php

3. “Mugatoo wins the $5 million All-Star Mile”, Source: https://7news.com.au/sport/horse-racing/mugatoo-wins-the-5-million-all-star-mile-c-2346247

4. “Hugh Bowman rides Mugatoo to victory to claim $5m All-Star Mile”, Source: https://www.foxsports.com.au/horse-racing/all-star-mile-2021-mugatoo-wins-winner-finishing-order-moonee-valley-result-odds-final-placings/news-story/f12d0c5cbf10522b240f7f9c04b74901

5. “OFFICIAL CHARITY OF THE ALL-STAR MILE”, Source: https://www.allstarmile.com.au/about

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