Menu | Bonuses, Previews, Promotions & More

Victoria Derby

The Victoria Derby is held annually at Flemington and this year the date is Saturday October 29th. The race is run over 2,500 metres on a left handed turf course.  It marks the beginning of Melbourne Cup week.  The Melbourne Cup itself traditionally being held on the first Tuesday in November.

Race Details

The race is a Group 1 event for three year old horses. It is a set weight race with fillies carrying 53.5 kilograms and colts and geldings 55.5 kilograms. Originally, it was run over 1½ miles, which was changed to 2,400 metres when the races went metric in 1972. However, it was felt that the distance from the start to the first turn presented potential danger.  The distance was increased to 2,500 metres from 1973.

The Victoria Derby was first run in 1855, and the first three races were won by fillies. However, the last filly that won the race was Frances Tressady back in 1923, so betting on fillies is probably not the best idea. Only one horse has ever won the Victoria Derby twice, and that was Fireworks who achieved the back to back double in 1867 and 1868.

Three horses have won the Victoria Derby in their first ever race. Martini Henry won in 1883, while much more recently Fire Oak in 1990 and Redding in 1992 achieved the same feat. Gai Waterhouse was he first woman trainer to win the Derby with Nothin’ Leica Dane in 1995. The first woman jockey to ride in the Derby was Clare Lindop in 2005.  She became the first woman to win it in 2008.

Always attracting a crowd of over 100,000, the Victoria Derby in 2006 broke the Flemington record previously held by Melbourne Cup day 2003, with 129.089 visitors.

Derby Day!

Victoria Derby Day is the only race meeting in Australia that contains nothing but Group status races. There are three other Group 1 races out of the nine: the $500,000 Myer Classic over 1,600 metres, the $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes over 1,200 metres, and the $1 million Mackinnon Stakes over 2,000 metres.

There is some serious prize money on offer for owners. The winner of the Derby gets $900,000 plus trophies valued at $8,000 to the owner, and $1,000 each to the trainer and jockey. The second horse receives $270,000, third $135,000, fourth $67,500, fifth $37,500, while sixth, seventh and eighth places receive $30,000 apiece.

Fashions on the Field

In recent years, Derby Day has been noted for the Fashions on the Field event, with Men’s Fashions taking the limelight. The ladies traditionally wear black and white. The flower of the day is a blue cornflower, sported in their buttonhole by many of the men. The idea for a flower was originated by Mrs Sheelah Wood, wife of a long-standing committee man Samuel Wood, in 1962.

As always with the major races of the Spring Carnival, the online bookmakers will no doubt be offering all sorts of promotions in order to attract your business. It’s worth spending a little time shopping around for the Victoria Derby, as you will find some amazing offers.