The Fillies' Mile is a Group 1 flat horse race run on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, which is part of the meeting that brings the flat season at HQ to a close. The race fairly self-explanatory from its name; is open to two-year-old fillies and ran over a distance of 1 mile.
The event was established in 1973, where it was originally held at Ascot, Berkshire. The race was then transferred to Newmarket in 2011, and held on the second day of the three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting, the day before the big Cambridgeshire Handicap – won this year by Wissahickon. It was again moved - this time to Future Champions Day from 2014, switching places in the calendar with the Rockfel Stakes, before in 2015, the race was moved to a slightly earlier date in October, and is now run on the Friday of the Future Champions Festival.
The Fillies’ Mile usually gives a good indication on the future contenders for the 1000 Guineas, held also Newmarket for when the Fillies turn 3-years-old in May. The race has featured many subsequent stars; with the last two winners of the race providing the runner up in the Guineas the following season. In 2016, Minding won the Fillies’ Mile before landing the 1000 Guineas six months later.
Over the years, there have been many trends to follow, which may be useful when selecting your winner this year. Frankie Dettori boasts the most wins in the race since its inauguration in the 70’s with six wins – most recently with Lyric of Light in 2011. Since then it’s been a Ballydoyle domination, who have owned the most winners; also with six. Three of the last four running’s of the race, Aiden O’Brien has trained the winner, and had the second in the year he lost.
This year, O’Brien is represented with the likes of Hermosa, Just Wonderful and Frosty – a full sister to 2017 1000 Guineas winner Winter. The master of Ballydoyle can be the joint-most winning trainer of the race should be successful this year, where he will join the late great Sir Henry Cecil, who has six wins in the race. Six seems the obvious number in the race.
Other things to note, is back-to-back jockey winners in the race. Fortune (‘04/’05), Dettori (‘99/’00,’10/’11) and Moore (‘15/’16). PJ McDonald will be looking to follow that trend should he get a ride in the ride following his success on Laurens twelve months ago – who has since gone on to win five Group 1’s.
Godolphin are looking for their first win in the race since 2012, which completed a hat-trick of wins in the event. Finally, horses with a run at Newmarket to their name, usually fair better than those that have yet to face the infamous Rowley Mile dip. This year’s favourite Antonia de Vega, trained by Ralph Beckett, made her racecourse debut at Newmarket in July.