The Advocate - Hepburn

Champions Mile Race info, past winners and 2023 preview

The Champions Mile is scheduled for the Saturday following the Melbourne Cup. Picture Shutterstock
The Champions Mile is scheduled for the Saturday following the Melbourne Cup. Picture Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Ladbrokes.

Previously recognised as Kennedy Cantala, the Champions Mile is a prestigious racing event, boasting a staggering prize pool of $3 million. From 2022 forward, the race has been rescheduled to mark the finale of Flemington's Melbourne Cup Carnival. A triumph was witnessed in 2022 when Alligator Blood emerged victorious in the Champions Mile.

The race has undergone several name changes in its history due to varying sponsorships. Presently, it's officially referred to as the Champions Mile, scheduled for the Saturday following the Melbourne Cup, traditionally held on the first Tuesday of November every year.

Among its earlier titles, it was registered as the Cantala Stakes and even dubbed Kennedy Cantala, honouring its sponsors, the luxury retail group Kennedy. The event was traditionally hosted on Victoria Derby Day but was moved to join the elite Group 1 $3 million VRC Champions Stakes (2000m), previously known as the Mackinnon Stakes, on the VRC Champions Stakes Day at the headquarters.

Another notable race included in the program is the Group 1 $3 million Champions Sprint (1200m), the race previously identified as the VRC Sprint Classic, catering to The Everest graduates. The Champions Mile, now offering an impressive $3 million in prize money as of 2022, attracts the cream of the crop, including the top local and international milers.

The upcoming edition of what was once the Cantala Stakes will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023, as the Kennedy Champions Mile, wrapping up the final day of Flemington's Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Predictive odds for the 2023 Champions Mile Race

The anticipation for the 2023 Champions Mile Race is already building, with the betting market and odds under constant scrutiny. As we inch closer to the race, the odds are sure to fluctuate, showcasing the dynamic nature of this prestigious horse racing event. Stay connected to catch the best betting prices for your favoured spring milers as the season progresses.

For real-time odds and live markets, take a peek at To get a quick snapshot of the current odds, click here for the latest pre-nomination odds for the 2023 Champions Mile 1600m.

Remember, the action commences sharp at 10:30 am on Saturday, November 11, 2023. Let's dive into the current odds. Listed are the top contenders:

  1. Mr Brightside: Win 3.00 | Place 1.50
  2. Alligator Blood: Win 3.20 | Place 1.55
  3. Think About It: Win 4.60 | Place 1.90
  4. Fangirl: Win 6.00 | Place 2.25
  5. Antino: Win 8.00 | Place 2.75
  6. Buckaroo: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50
  7. Cascadian: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50
  8. Militarize: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50
  9. Prowess: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50
  10. Tuvalu: Win 15.00 | Place 4.50
  11. Attrition: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  12. Golden Mile: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  13. Hinged: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  14. King Colorado: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  15. My Oberon: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  16. Nugget: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  17. Osipenko: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  18. Pinstriped: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  19. The Inevitable: Win 26.00 | Place 7.25
  20. Bankers Choice: Win 51.00 | Place 13.50

Champions Mile Race info

Prepare to mark your calendar for a spectacular showdown, as the Champions Mile is set to unfold on the grand stage of the Flemington Racecourse on Saturday, November 11, 2023.

Previously known by the glamorous moniker, Kennedy Cantala, this illustrious event has a rich tapestry of history dating back to 1881 when it first dashed into the racing scene as the Emirates Stakes.

With the first Champions Mile race flash taking off in 2022, the race has firmly etched its place in the annals of prestigious equestrian events.

The track is set at a thrilling 1600m, highlighting the weight-for-age conditions that ensure a level playing field. A staggering prize money of $3 million awaits the victor, adding an extra layer of excitement to this Group 1 event. Brace yourselves - the Champions Mile promises a heart-stopping display of equine prowess and racing finesse! Make sure to get up to date tips on the Champions Mile races so that you can make an informed decision on which horse to put your money on.

Navigating the thrills of betting on the Champions Mile

The Champions Mile betting landscape is often dominated by horses with solid records over the 1600m, particularly those transitioning from a 2000m race like the Cox Plate. Previous experience at Flemington doesn't usually impact a horse's odds, but their capability over the 1600m and past performance in weight-for-age form serve as better indicators for Champions Mile betting positions.

Recent records indicate that favourites in the Champions Mile, formerly known as Kennedy Cantala, have had substantial success, although upsets aren't rare. For instance, in 2017, Le Romain won at odds of $12 in the race then titled Cantala Stakes.

That same year, the Kennedy Cantala winner Shillelagh offered generous odds of $12, while the favourite, Tosen Stardom ($4.80), ended up in the eighth position.

Best Of Days ($12 in 2018) and Yulong Prince ($10 in 2020) pulled off surprise victories at double-figure Cantala Stakes odds. In 2021, Superstorm triumphed at the Kennedy Cantala with $8 odds prior to the event's renaming to the Champions Mile in 2022.

Cascadian, from the Godolphin stable, has had an impressive run, finishing in the top three for the third consecutive time in the 2021 Kennedy Cantala. He achieved 3rd place in 2019, 2nd in 2020, and 3rd again in 2021. Alligator Blood clinched victory in the inaugural Champions Mile, with odds of $5.50.

Kennedy Cantala / Champions Mile Results

The esteemed Kennedy Cantala race, prior to 2016, was recognised as the old Emirates Stakes, and it boasts a series of distinguished winners such as Turn Me Loose in 2015, Boban in 2013, All Silent in 2008, and Testa Rossa in 2000.

In 2022, the event transitioned into the Champions Mile, the results of which are documented in detail below. Skyjack, in 1974, achieved a commendable feat as the last three-year-old victor in the Cantala Stakes.

Shillelagh, in 2017, was the final mare to triumph in the Cantala Stakes. The current Cantala Stakes race record is held by Scenic Peak, who clinched victory in 2002 with an impressive time of 1 minute and 33.49 seconds.

Past Cantala Stakes / Champions Mile Winners

The roster of recent winners and place-getters in the Champions Mile (previously known as the Kennedy Cantala) is a testament to the high calibre of the race.

In 2022, the inaugural Champions Mile saw Alligator Blood emerge victorious, followed by Tuvalu and Mr Brightside, clocking a time of 1:35.6.

The year prior, Superstorm clinched the top spot at the Kennedy Cantala with Icebath and Cascadian trailing behind with a remarkable time of 1:35.2. In 2020, Yulong Prince led the field, with Cascadian and Rock taking up the subsequent spots and completing the race in 1:34.5.

Fierce Impact, Fifty Stars, and Cascadian (yet again) defined the 2019 race, with a time of 1:38.2. Best Of Days, Le Romain, and Peaceful State filled the podium in 2018, clocking 1:33.6. Shillelagh, along with Tom Melbourne and Wyndspelle, dominated the 2017 race, recording a time of 1:35.0.

Notable winners from the past two decades include Le Romain in 2016, Turn Me Loose in 2015, and Hucklebuck in 2014, with each year showcasing a distinct cohort of talented horses.

Going back further, the early 2000s saw victories from horses like Testa Rossa in 2000, Desert Eagle in 2001, and Scenic Peak in 2002, who holds the current race record with an impressive time of 1:33.4.

Each year's race is a thrilling spectacle, and the 2023 Champions Mile promises to be no exception with its winners yet to be determined.

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