Racing Victoria (RV) on Saturday named the Good Friday Appeal as the official charity partner of The All-Star Mile, with Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital set to benefit from all nomination fees received for the world’s richest mile race.
For every horse entered for The All-Star Mile, the new $5 million showpiece to be held for the first time at Flemington on Saturday, 16 March, their $500 nomination fee will go to the Good Friday Appeal, an annual fundraising activity on behalf of The Royal Children's Hospital.
In 2018 the appeal, which is held on Good Friday each year, raised $18 million – a record figure. The funds raised assist The Royal Children’s Hospital to provide first-class support for the children under their care.
The Victorian thoroughbred racing industry has a rich history with the Good Friday Appeal dating back to its inaugural fundraising event in 1931, which was a sports carnival in front of 20,000 people that included a football match involving Victorian jockeys with Flemington riders prevailing over their Caulfield rivals.
The industry remains proud supporters of the Good Friday Appeal, with racing participants helping to man the phones each year, and The All-Star Mile presented a new opportunity to strengthen the industry’s contribution, according to RV Chief Executive Giles Thompson.
“We are delighted to announce the Good Friday Appeal as the official charity partner of The All-Star Mile,” Thompson said.
“The Good Friday Appeal is an institution in Victoria and The Royal Children’s Hospital does a tremendous job offering support to the youngsters who need it most, so we hope to raise a considerable sum for them through The All-Star Mile.
“With each nomination fee of $500 going directly to the Good Friday Appeal, I would urge any trainers and owners who are yet to nominate their horse for The All-Star Mile to do so before entries close at 12 noon this Tuesday.”
Since it was first held in 1931, more than $345 million has been raised through the Good Friday Appeal to support research, equipment, education, training and patient-centred care programs at The Royal Children’s Hospital.
Last year more than 50,000 children were admitted to the hospital and over 86,000 children were treated in emergency, in addition to the 338,000 children treated at the hospital’s specialist clinics.
Anne Randall, Director of the Good Friday Appeal, said: “We are thrilled to be the charity partner for The All-Star Mile, and are grateful to Racing Victoria for the involvement. It's another example of the community coming together to support The Royal Children’s Hospital.
“The money raised will help support our great hospital by funding state-of-the-art equipment, groundbreaking research, education and family-centred care, all of which benefit our most vulnerable children.”
A joint initiative between RV and the State’s three metropolitan racing clubs – the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) and Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) – The All-Star Mile is unique to Australian racing with fans to determine who contests the lucrative race via a public vote.
The top 10 horses in the public vote, which commences on 21 January and concludes on 18 February, will secure a start in The All-Star Mile with the remaining four places in the 14-horse field to be made up of wildcards issued by RV.
In a first for Australian racing, The All-Star Mile will also be rotated annually across three Victorian metropolitan tracks with Caulfield to host The All-Star Mile in 2020 and The Valley in 2021.unced by Racing Victoria by Monday, 4 March.