The Fillies' Mile is a one mile race open only to two-year-old fillies. It was originally staged at the scenic Ascot Racecourse, usually in late September and on the same day as the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. It was transferred to Newmarket on the Rowley Mile track in 2011.
Since 2008, the Fillies' Mile has become part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge, meaning that the winning filly will receive an automatic entry into the Breeder' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf event. This is perhaps the most prestigious race for fillies in the British racing season.
Held on the straight portion of the right-handed Rowley Mile Course at Newmarket, this fillies' only race is open to qualifying juveniles that are two years of age. Each filly is subject to a weight requirement of 9 stones. The race itself stretches a mile long.
location: Newmarket Racecourse
grade: Group 1
race type: Flat
The race was established in 1973, and was originally called the Green Shield Stakes. This was named after the Green Shields catalogue franchise, which was the first sponsor of the event. When the name of the store chain was changed to Argos in the mid-70s, the name of the race changed to the Argos Star Fillies' Mile. Around the same time in 1975, the race was also declared to have Group 3 status.
In 1986, the race became known as the Hoover Fillies' Mile after their new sponsor. It was also promoted to Group 2. Finally, in 1990, one year after Hoover withdrew sponsorship and the event became known as simply the Fillies' Mile, the race was elevated to coveted Group Onestatus. Today, with a purse of £567,500 at stake (as of 2017), the Fillies' Mile is still one of the finest filly events you are likely to see in the UK.
Despite this event's comparatively brief history, great fillies, including Oh So Sharp, elevated its status shortly after the inauguration. Today, its rich purse and honour roll of past winners makes it one of the most prestigious fillies' events on the racing calendar (as of 2017).
While no filly has won the event more than once (a horse can't enter this competition twice), two jockeys have made their mark as the most successful Fillies' Mile riders ever. Frankie Dettori and Lester Piggott won the race four times respectively, Dettori between 1990 and 2000, Piggott from 1973 to 1984.
Henry Cecil is the most successful trainer with six wins from Formulate in 1978 to Reams of Verse in 1996. Aidan O'Brien is gaining ground having trained five winners to date making him one of the most successful trainers in recent history.
Currently, only four fillies that won the Fillies' Mile as two-year-olds went on to win the 1000 Guineas as three-year-olds. These include: Quick As Lightning (1979-1980), Oh So Sharp (1984-1985), Bosra Sham (1995-1996), and Minding (2015-2016).
Below are some of the strongest competitors and best moments in the history of the Fillies' Mile (as of 2017).
Oh So Sharp is the only Fillies' Triple Crown winner to also win the Fillies' Mile in its history.
More recently, 2015's Minding has stood out as one of the strongest fillies to win this mile event with 9 wins from 13 starts and career earnings of over two million to date. Some of her most notable victories include top-class events such as the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Nassau Stakes, Sea the Stars/Pretty Polly Stakes, Epsom Oaks, 1000 Guineas, Fillies' Mile and Stud Stakes.