9th - 12th Sep

14:10 Doncaster 10 Sep 2020

bet365 May Hill Stakes

Fillies' Group 2 | Class 1 | 2YO only

Winner £34,026 - 9 ran

1m (Str)

Good (Good to Soft in places)

Draw Advantage: None

Last year’s race
Powerful Breeze
  • Winner: Powerful Breeze
  • Jockey: James Doyle
  • Trainer: Hugo Palmer
  • Owner: Dr Ali Ridha
  • Age: 2Weight: 9st 0lbs
  • Starting Price: 6/1
  • Season Form Figures: 31715
  • Previous Best: 1st – Class 2 Fillies' Handicap, Newmarket (July 2019)

Watch every race of the Pertemps St Leger Festival 2020 live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) from Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th September.

By Paul Jones

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. The 2018 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. Unfortunately last season’s winner, Powerful Breeze, has not been able to run this season as yet following an injury.

In short, look to either a last-time-out maiden/novice winner (won 11 of the last 28 runnings despite being readily outnumbered) or a filly which ran very well in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes the previous month as six of the last 18 May Hill winners won or finished second in that Group 3 event). 

With last-time-out maiden/novice winners faring so well, Powerful Breeze being the latest last year, 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, 15 of the last 22 winners were having either their second or third start. 

Of the 11 most recent last-time-out maiden/novice winners, no less than seven recorded that success at Newmarket (Reams Of Verse, Karasta, Half Glance, Playful Act, Pollenator, Lyric Of Light and Powerful Breeze). Moreover, the 2002 May Hill winner, Summitville, also won her maiden at Newmarket before running second in the Sweet Solera also at Newmarket won this season by Star Of Emaraaty who caused a 66/1 upset beating Dubai Fountain. If the Kevin Ryan-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 run in the final weekend of August at Goodwood won last season by Boomer who went on to finish second in the May Hill. In fact the 1-2-3 in the May Hill in 2016 also contested that Group 3 contest. However, there is one week less between the two races this season. 

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 11 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 15 runnings and supplied the 2018 runner-up, Star Terms.
Being a mile race for two-year-olds, stamina plays a big issue with 21 of the last 23 winners having previously scored over at least seven furlongs beforehand. 

Fleeting was a surprise winner two years ago 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. 

At a glance summary

Last-time-out maiden/novice winner (especially at Newmarket)
Win or placed in the Sweet Solera Stakes
Beaten in a group race in Ireland last time out
Having their second or third start
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
2019Powerful BreezeHugo PalmerJames Doyle2 9-06/1
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

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