11th - 14th September 2019

15:45 Doncaster 12 Sep 2019

William Hill May Hill Stakes

Fillies' Group 2 | Class 1 | 2YO only

Winner £39,697 - 9 ran

1m (Str)

Good to Firm

Draw Advantage: High

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

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt OR SP
2018FleetingA P O'BrienD O'Brien2 9-0/12/1
2017LaurensK Burke (75 miles)P J McDonald2 9-0-11/4
2016Rich LegacyR Beckett (212 miles)O Murphy2 9-0-3/1
2015Turret RocksJ S Bolger K J Manning2 9-0-7/2
2014Agnes StewartE Lynam W J Lee2 9-0-11/4
2013IhtimalS bin Suroor (128 miles)S De Sousa2 8-12-11/10
2012CertifyM Al Zarooni (128 miles)M Barzalona2 8-12-4/6
2011Lyric Of LightM Al Zarooni (128 miles)L Dettori2 8-12-9/1
2010White MoonstoneS bin Suroor (128 miles)L Dettori2 8-12-8/11
2009PollenatorR Hannon (184 miles)R L Moore2 8-12-14/1
2008Rainbow ViewJ Gosden (128 miles)J Fortune2 9-1-1/3
2007SpaciousJ Fanshawe (128 miles)J P Spencer2 8-12-9/4
2006Simply PerfectJ Noseda (128 miles)D Holland2 8-12-4/1
2005NasheejR Hannon (184 miles)R Hughes2 8-13-4/1
2004Playful ActJ Gosden (128 miles)J Fortune2 8-10-8/1
2003KinnairdP Haslam (73 miles)Kevin Darley2 8-10-9/1
2002SummitvilleJ Given (23 miles)M Fenton2 8-9-11/2
2001Half GlanceSir H Cecil (128 miles)T Quinn2 8-9-5/2
2000KarastaSir M Stoute (128 miles)Johnny Murtagh2 8-9-5/4
1999TeggianoC Brittain (128 miles)L Dettori2 8-9-13/2
1998CalandoD Loder (139 miles)L Dettori2 8-9-5/2