The Victoria Derby is among the oldest thoroughbred horse races in Australia. It was first held in 1855, over a mile and half, but has been staged over 2500 metres since 1973. Confined to three-year-olds, it takes place in early November at Flemington racecourse, Melbourne, on the opening day of the famous VRC Spring Carnival. The prize money available with this race is $2,000,000, which makes it one of the most lucrative races in Australia, as well as one of the most important.
As a long established and high-profile race, the Victoria Derby has become a popular contest for punters and all of Australia’s top racing tipsters will be studying hard to find the winner. Victoria Derby betting tips will be greatly in demand in the days running up to Derby Day, which is one of the most hectic betting days in Australian racing. The Victoria Derby is one of the trickier Group 1 contests to evaluate, due mainly to the fact that most of the horses involved have yet to reveal their full potential, but also due to the extra distance of the race, which often produces a contest that is run at a false pace. That’s why many punters look up the opinions of the top racing tipsters before they put their money down, and if you’re on the hunt for tipster advice, make sure you go for one with a good record in this particular race.
Betting begins on the Victoria Derby months in advance of the race as punters and bookmakers aim to evaluate each season’s crop of two-year-olds to see which have the ability to rise to the top of the stayers division as three-year-olds. Those ante-post odds will change significantly as the two-year-old season goes on and more of the competitors make their racing debuts. Throughout the winter, there will be a great deal of speculation about Victoria Derby entrants, and regular shifts in the markets, and the odds will move again as the spring comes around as several races that are seen as trials for the Victoria Derby – including the Norman Robinson Stakes – are held. There will be more minor changes in the Victoria Derby betting odds just days before the race itself when the barrier draw is made, as this can hand a minor advantage to horses drawn low, so many punters keep their powder dry until after the draw has been finalised.
Entry requirements for the Victoria Derby have evolved over the years, and between 1931 and 1956, geldings were banned, although that rule no longer applies. Weight carried is not a factor in this race as all colts and geldings carry 55.5 kg and fillies shoulder 53.5 kg. There are multiple entry stages for the race, including a Late Entry stage, at which owners must pay a hefty $82,500 fee, but the final Victoria Derby field is restricted to 16 runners, with the deciding factor being total career prize money won to that point. As you would expect, in a race of this calibre, the entry list usually includes some of the best-bred and most-promising young horses in Australian racing, but punters who are looking for ante-post clues for the shape of the final field can study the Order of Entry.
Race fans around Australia and all over the world will be keenly following the outcome of this prestigious old race and the final results will be declared online moments after the winning horse has passed the post, through fans on social media and the main racing sites. The first three Victoria Derbies were all won by fillies – Tricolour, Flying Doe and Rose of May – but the last filly to enjoy victory in this race was Frances Tressady in 1923. Although in theory a horse can only enter the Victoria Derby once, Fireworks managed the unique feat of winning it twice in 1867 and 1868, as the race was moved to New Year’s Day that year. Winning the Victoria Derby first time out is a rare achievement, but four horses have managed to do so; Preferment being the latest in 2014.