Last year’s race
- Winner: Fleeting
- Jockey: D O'Brien
- Trainer: A P O'Brien
- Owner: Mrs John Magnier, Mr M Tabor & Mr D Smith
- Age: 2 Weight: 9st 0lb
- Starting Price: 12/1
- Season Form Figures: 173
- Previous Best: 3rd - Flame Of Tara Irish EBF Stakes (Group 3), Curragh (Sept 2018)
The 2017 winner, Laurens, became the first to go on to win a classic the following season since Reams Of Verse in 1996, her Prix de Diane success being one of six Group 1 victories. Last season’s winner, Fleeting, went on to be placed in the Oaks and Irish Oaks, so the quality of winner of late has been improvement on the years that had preceded it.
Fleeting was a surprise winner at 12/1 as, prior to Pollenator’s win at 14/1 in 2009, the May Hill wasn’t a race for shock results. In fact, in victory Pollenator became the first filly to win at a double-figure price in over 30 years.
In short, look to either a last-time-out maiden winner (won 10 of the last 27 runnings despite being readily outnumbered) or a filly which ran very well in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes the previous month (six of the last 17 May Hill winners won or finished second in that Group 3 event). With last-time-out maiden winners faring so well, we should not be surprised that lightly-raced fillies are those to concentrate on. Going back to and including 1993, just four winners had raced more than three times but, arguably more significantly, 14 of the last 21 winners were having either their second or third start.
In short, look to either a last-time-out maiden winner or a filly which ran very well in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes the previous month.
Of the ten most recent last-time-out maiden winners, no less than six recorded their maiden success at Newmarket (Reams Of Verse, Karasta, Half Glance, Playful Act, Pollenator and Lyric Of Light). Moreover, the 2002 May Hill winner, Summitville, also won her maiden at Newmarket before running second in the Sweet Solera also at Newmarket won by West End Girl. If the Mark Johnston-trained filly completes the Sweet Solera-May Hill double then she will be emulating Nasheej, Rainbow View, White Moonstone and Certify since 2005.
Another key guide is the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood won this season by Boomer. In fact the 1-2-3 in the May Hill in 2016 also contested that Group 3 contest three weeks earlier.
The May Hill Stakes was exported to Ireland in 2015, 2016 and 2018 with victories for Agnes Stewart (Edward Lynam), Turret Rocks (Jim Bolger) and Fleeting (Aidan O’Brien), all of which had previously been beaten in a group race in Ireland. You would think that the Godolphin operation are likely to be gunning for a fifth win in ten years following White Moonstone, Lyric Of Light, Certify and Ihtimal given that this is a race that they clearly like to aim a high-class filly at and John Gosden also has four wins to his credit. The Hannon stable have won two of the last 14 runnings and supplied last season’s runner-up, Star Terms.
Being a mile race for two-year-olds, stamina plays a big issue with 20 of the last 22 winners having previously scored over at least seven furlongs beforehand.
At a glance summary
- Last-time-out maiden winner (especially at Newmarket)
- Win or placed in the Sweet Solera Stakes
- Beaten in a group race in Ireland last time out
- Owned by Godolphin
- Trained by John Gosden or Richard Hannon
- Having their second or third start
- Failed to win over at least 7f
- Likely to start at double-figure odds