The Victoria Derby, run over 2500m at Flemington Racecourse, is the premier three year old staying race on the Australian racing calendar. The $2m set weights contest is a true test of stamina and has been won by some real champions of the turf since...
In a hurry? We’ve listed all the quick facts that you need to know about the Victoria Derby:
|Date||Saturday, 29th October, 2022|
|Racecourse||Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia|
The Victoria Derby is one of Australia’s premier Group 1 races and is run over 2500m at Flemington Racecourse in Victoria. It has a total prize pool of $2 million, is for three-year-olds and is raced with set weights. In 2022, the Victoria Derby will take place on Saturday, October 29, the same day as three other Group 1s at Flemington.
Hitotsu earnt himself a slice of history after winning the 2021 Victoria Derby. He did this after last contesting the Caulfield Guineas, rising 900m in distance for the big three-year-old race and won by 1.75L.
The first running of the Victoria Derby was way back in 1855, with Rose Of May crossing the line first. A number of racing greats have since won the race, including Phar Lap (1929), Comic Court (1948), Red Anchor (1984) and Efficient (2006).
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman had great success in the Victoria Derby in the early 2010s. He rode Lion Tamer to victory in 2010 before winning onboard Sangster and Polanski. No trainer has quite been able to replicate that same recent success, however, James Scobie holds the record for trainer wins in the race with eight.
The Victoria Derby is one of Australia’s premier horse races and it happens to be a race most Aussies like to have a casual punt on. Our expert tipsters will put together a short list of Victoria Derby tips to look out for in the leadup to the big race. Given the caliber of the horses that grace the hallowed turf at Flemington for the Victoria Derby each year, tips and predictions are always hard to come.
We will list The Sharks’ Victoria Derby best tips for the race this year closer to the time of the race. Make sure you check back on this page for updates!
Our tips are now available for the Victoria Derby! Be sure to check out our thoughts for every runner in the 2022 Victoria Derby:
1. Sharp ‘N’ Smart (3) – $3.40EF
Last start Spring Champion winner who is unbeaten this prep. Racing like he will be suited over the trip and beat a handy field last start, including the Caulfield Guineas runner up. Should get every chance from the low draw and both trainer and jockey know what it takes to win the race.
2. Berkeley Square (5) – $3.40EF
Got held up at a crucial stage when finishing fourth in the Caulfield Guineas before a grinding win last start in the MV Vase. He’s two from two here at Flemington and is out of a SA Classic (2500m) placed mare. Plenty to like.
3. Let’srollthedice (7) – SCRATCHED
4. Mr Maestro (17) – $6.00
Made it three wins in a row last start at Caulfield at G3 level, where he was exposed early and had to earn the win. Loves the big open spaces of Flemington and looks as though the added journey won’t be an issue. The barrier draw has done him little favours but is racing too well to let that be a turn off. Can win again.
5. Pericles (6) – $7.50
Stepped up from 1400m to 2040m last start in the MV Vase and was far from disgraced. He looked the winner on that occasion before tiring very late in the race. He now has to go to 2500m which is some concern for mine but the stable is on fire and gets the services of world class jockey, William Buick.
6. Grand Pierro (15) – $31
Got back and swallowed up the fav late in the race to win the Geelong Classic last start. Will go back from the wide gate here and should be strong at the end of 2500m but the opposition is stronger. Place hope.
7. Manzoice (8) – $26
Held his ground last start in the Spring Champion behind Sharp ‘N’ Smart. Unsure about him at 2500m and would need to find on recent efforts to be considered a winning chance.
8. Foujita San (9) – $23
Ran some good late splits in the Caulfield Guineas last start. Goes straight from the mile to 2500m here which will take some training effort, but who am I to doubt the Hawkes yard. Keep an eye on the market.
9. Skyphios (14) – $61
Didn’t do much in the Caulfield Guineas two back and could only manage a battling seventh to Berkeley Square last start. This has been his target all along but he needs to find on recent form if he’s to win this.
10. Muramasa (4) – $16
Lightly raced colt who just kept whacking away last start at Caulfield behind Mr Maestro. His debut win was very impressive and he looks suited at 2500m. Should enjoy a soft run from the good draw and can figure in the finish at good odds.
11. Fearless Knight (11) – $71
Eight start maidener who wasn’t disgraced at Caulfield last start. Looks a tough little colt who gives his all but needs to go to another level to break his maiden at G1 level.
12. Berardino (10) – $41
Ran home well in a fast run race two back behind Mr Maestro before an honest effort last time out at the Valley in the worst part of the track. Should have no issue with the trip but may lack the class of some of his rivals here.
13. Distrustful Award (12) – $31
Took care of his maiden win in emphatic style at Mildura before a solid third to Mr Maestro last start. Looks to have plenty of staying talent and is capable of running a cheeky race here at good odds.
14. Highland Blaze (13) – $126
Bairnsdale trained galloper who broke his maiden at the home track last start. This is obviously a lot tougher but has plenty of miles in his legs and could pick up some minor prize money.
15. King’s Crossing (16) – $51
Took off early and whacked away well last start in the Geelong Classic. Had excuses the start prior at Flemington. Bred to get a trip but will need luck from the outside gate and might find this a bit tougher.
16. Lehndorff (1) – $126
Led from barrier to box last start at Kembla Grange in maiden grade. Big step up here but comes from an astute yard and will get every chance from the inside gate.
17e. Aberfeldie Boy (2) – $81
Wasn’t far away in the Geelong Classic last start. Bred to get over ground and will get a good run from the gate. Seen worse 100/1 pops.
Winning a Victoria Derby trifecta is not simple, to say the least. But there are definitely tips and tricks that you can consider to make punting a little bit easier.
Victoria Derby Trifecta Tip 1
Don’t blindly trust other punters, always go with your gut when it comes to choosing your favourites. Do your own research and look at stats into runners you think may have a shot at the Victoria Derby trifecta.
Victoria Derby Trifecta Tip 2
If you’re a bit unsure where to start with your research, consider checking out a Victoria Derby form guide – bookies like Sportsbet and Neds have them available year-round.
Victoria Derby Trifecta Tip 3
Consider placing a box trifecta as opposed to a straight trifecta. A box trifecta is great because it covers you in all combinations of finishing positions, once you’ve chosen three runners. It will cost a bit more money extra to place, but improves your chances of winning a Victoria Derby trifecta by a great amount.
Where to Place a Victoria Derby Trifecta?
You’re able to place a Victoria Derby trifecta through an online bookie – or in store at TAB. Online bookies often offer elite punting services – with plenty of fans placing a box trifecta with the 3 favourites in their bet.
Online bookies are also not subject to business hours or location – which means you’re able to place a Victoria Derby trifecta from your living room! Online bookies also offer a step-by-step guide into placing a Victoria Derby trifecta.
Given the popularity of the event, betting for the Victoria Derby is much easier with online bookies. This way you can avoid crowded and confusing TABs, while still having access to the many great bookmakers that operate in Australia.
Like many of the top Group 1s in the Spring Racing Carnival, the Victoria Derby has a mixed betting history and there are a lot of important factors to consider before betting on the Victoria Derby.
Make sure you have a read on below before you place your bets:
Should I Bet On The Favourite in the Victoria Derby?
When looking at betting on the favoured horses at the Victoria Derby, the recent record would suggest that that is the smart play. One of the last six winners has had a starting price inside $3, five have had starting prices at $10 or less. The only outlier is 2016 winner Prized Icon who won at $17.
In terms of the standalone pre-race favourite, Ace High won the race in 2017 after starting as a $7 favourite and Tarzino won as the clear favourite in 2015. Hitotsu was not originally favourite, but the money came very strongly for the winner, seeing his odds crunched from outside of $10 to jump as the $4 favourite in 2021. Other than that, favourites have a pretty poor record in the race, with the three aforementioned horses the only successful favourite in the last 11 years.
Is Previous Form a Good Indicator of Victoria Derby Success?
Like any race or any sport for that matter, it is important to assess the form of your selection prior to placing your bet. Victoria Derby betting is no different. Although the Derby is one of the most highly regarded three year old races in the nation, it still features several maiden horses every year.
However, given their success over the 164 runnings of the Derby it is best to avoid them, as a maiden has only won the derby on four occasions in the race’s history. Martini Henry in 1883, Fire Oak in 1990, Redding in 1992 and Preferment in 2014.
Hitotsu ran 5th in the Caulfield Guineas in his last start before the Victoria Derby, winning his maiden in the run prior to that.
A good way of filtering through your Victoria Derby top bets every year is to start by ruling out almost all of the fillies. We do not mean to discriminate based on the gender of the horse, however the last filly to win the Victoria Derby was Frances Tressady back in 1923. Fillies rarely compete in the race which has hindered their chances of victory during this 98 year drought.
More often than not, weight is an important factor that must be considered before making a bet on any race. However, the Derby is an exception to this suggestion. The Victoria Derby is run with set weights that see the colts and geldings carry 57kg.
Our Victoria Derby best bets are out now. Take a look at who we think has a good chance of winning the major Group 1 in 2022.
Victoria Derby Best Bet #1: Mr Maestro – $6.00
Going with the Kiwi, Mr Maestro on top. He’s continued to improve as the distances get longer this prep and despite the wide draw, think he’s the one to beat here. He took off a long way from home last start and was still too strong for Muramasa and co, is unbeaten at Flemington and the Forsman yard has been on fire here this Spring.
Victoria Derby Best Bet #2 & #3: Berkeley Square – $3.40 & Sharp ‘N’ Smart – $3.40
Moonee Valley Vase winner, Berkeley Square, and Spring Champion Stakes winner, Sharp ‘N’ Smart, look the logical dangers. Both won well last start and give the impression the added journey won’t be any issue. Importantly both jockeys, Craig Williams and Hugh Bowman, have won the Derby before and know what is needed to salute the judge in the winner’s stall.
Below is a table that outlines the basics on how to bet on the Victoria Derby:
|Bet Type||How to Place This Type of Bet|
|Win Bet||Place a bet on the horse you think will be the outright winner (1st place) in the 2021 Victoria Derby.|
|Place Bet||Place a bet on the horse you think will place in the top three in the 2021 Victoria Derby. Pays less than a win bet, but the odds are safer.|
|Each-Way Bet||Place a bet on the horse you think will win the Victoria Derby, with a safety net of a place bet. If your horse runs 1st, you will collect both the win and the place pay-out. If your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd, you will win only the place pay-out.|
|Quinella Bet||Place a bet on the horses you think will finish 1st and 2nd in any order in the Victoria Derby.|
|Exacta Bet||Place a bet on the horses you think will finish 1st and 2nd in the correct order in the Victoria Derby.|
|Trifecta Bet||Place a bet on the horses you think will finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the correct order in the Victoria Derby.|
|First Four||Place a bet on the horses you think will finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the correct order in the Victoria Derby.|
|Quaddie||Place a bet on the winners of four nominated races to win a quaddie. This means you have to select three other races apart from the Victoria Derby to place a quaddie.|
As the Victoria Derby is one of the cornerstone Group I races that features in Flemington’s Spring Carnival, bookies look to release odds for the race several months prior to the field being set.
All horses that are likely to run in the upcoming Victoria Derby are given odds by bookmakers so punters can participate in what is known as futures betting. Futures betting occurs when a betting market is available before the final field is known, allowing punters to get in early on a horse that they believe will both make it into the final field and win or place in the race.
The 2022 Victoria Derby odds are out, and there are currently four equal favourites priced at $11, the runners include Berkeley Square, Cadazio, Foujita San and Sharp N Smart. Here are the current odds, courtesy of Neds, as of mid-August:
|Sharp N Smart||$11|
|Flag Of Honour||$15|
When looking at a horse racing field, it is essentially just the lineup of horses that will be taking part in any given race. The Victoria Derby field is full of some of the best three-year-old stayers in Australia and abroad. Normally the race has a big field, which means at times it can be difficult to find a winner.
The Victoria Derby field is collated by prize money, as the acceptors with the most prize money will make up the final field. The 2021 field saw a capacity 16 colts & geldings face the starter, with no scratchings meaning the 4 emergencies were unable to get a run.
While we wait for the 2022 Victoria Derby field to be announced, check out the field from last year, in 2021:
|1. Forgot You||7||Daniel Moor||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young|
|2. Tutukaka||10||James McDonald||Tony Pike|
|3. Alegron||8||Brett Prebble||James Cummings|
|4. Gunstock||15||Jye McNeil||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)|
|5. Akihiro||1||Rachel King||Gary Portelli|
|6. Character||9||Fred Kersley||James Cummings|
|7. Jungle Magnate||4||Luke Currie||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)|
|8. Commander Harry||12||Linda Meech||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young|
|9. Hitotsu||6||John Allen||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace|
|10. Cerberus||16||Damien Thornton||Anthony & Sam Freedman|
|11. Gundec||2||Craig Williams||Symon Wilde|
|12. Clyde||5||Dean Yendall||Gary Portelli|
|13. El Rocko||13||Jamie Mott||John McArdle|
|14. Raging Bull||14||Michael Dee||David Payne|
|15. Cheerful Moment||11||Blaike McDougall||Lindsey Smith|
|16. Teewaters||3||Declan Bates||Archie Alexander|
When looking at who you plan to stake your wager on for the Victoria Derby, it definitely pays to keep the barrier draw in mind, however it is not as important as other races based on the data.
Although the start of the 2,500m race at Flemington only features a relatively short run of the straight before the field disperses around the first bend, the superior stayer in the race tends to win regardless of where they have drawn.
Since 1983, there has been little evidence to suggest that a certain barrier is more advantageous than any other. Apart from barrier three, which has not produced a winning horse in the past 37 years. Hitotsu won from barrier 6 in 2021 while Johnny Get Angry won from barrier 5 in 2020.
With the race yet to be run, we still don’t know what the Victoria Derby results for 2022 will be! However, check back in after the race and we will have all of the information on how the big race went and what the results are.
Looking back at last year, Hitotsu came from near last at the 700m and then saw backsides up until the 350m where he needed to jostle to break free, before exploding home down the straight. He took the lead from Alegron (2nd) at the 120m mark and ended up winning by 1.75L.
We at Racing Sharks can assure you that as soon as the final results for the 2022 Victoria Derby are made official, that they will be online and ready to be broken down by our racing experts.
In the meantime, take a look at the full field of results from the 2021 Victoria Derby, a race that saw Hitotsu win the $1.5 million prize money:
|1st||9. Hitotsu (6)||John Allen||–|
|2nd||3. Alegron (8)||Brett Prebble||1.75L|
|3rd||16. Teewaters (3)||Declan Bates||3.75L|
|4th||14. Raging Bull (14)||Michael Dee||3.95L|
|5th||1. Forgot You (7)||Daniel Moor||8.2L|
|6th||2. Tutukaka (10)||James McDonald||9.45L|
|7th||10. Cerberus (16)||Damien Thornton||9.95L|
|8th||6. Character (9)||Fred Kersley||10.45L|
|9th||12. Clyde (5)||Dean Yendall||10.85L|
|10th||7. Jungle Magnate (4)||Luke Currie||10.95L|
|11th||8. Commander Harry (12)||Linda Meech||11.35L|
|12th||11. Gundec (2)||Craig Williams||11.55L|
|13th||4. Gunstock (15)||Jye McNeil||12.8L|
|14th||13. El Rocko (13)||Jamie Mott||32.8L|
|15th||5. Akihiro (1)||Rachel King||33L|
|16th||15. Cheerful Moment (11)||Blaike McDougall||63L|
You’ve read the words, now watch the video! Have a squiz below at the 2021 Victoria Derby race:
The results for the upcoming Victoria Derby are not yet available, but in the meantime, you can have a look below at all the recent past winners:
|2020||Johnny Get Angry||Hit The Shot||Young Weather|
|2019||Warning||Southern Moon||Soul Patch|
|2018||Extra Brut||Star Of Carrum||Chapada|
|2016||Prized Icon||Scared Elixir||Inference|
|2015||Tarzino||Etymology||Kia Ora Koutou|
As it is the first event of four Group 1 races that fall in the same week during Flemington’s annual spring carnival, the Victoria Derby attracts the best jockeys from both Australia and the World.
Like every major sporting event in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic obviously impacted international jockeys from donning the silks at the 2021 Victoria Derby, however the race still featured the best Australian jockeys, including from Melbourne and Sydney.
Throughout the 165 runnings of the Victoria Derby, several jockeys have made iconic names for themselves. None bigger than Bobbie Lewis. Lewis holds the record for the most rides of a Victorian Derby winner with eight, winning in 1900, 1901, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1921 and 1927. Yes, that is a staggering 27 years between his first and last winning ride.
Almost a century since Lewis’ last Derby winner, Damien Oliver is the modern day champion of Victoria Derby jockeys. Oliver has won the race on five occasions across his illustrious career, riding Redding to victory in 1992, Amalfi in 2001, Elvstroem in 2003, Fiveandahalfstar in 2012 Preferment in 2014 and most recently Warning in 2019.
John Allen made it feature Group Ones wins in back to back Saturdays, winning the 2021 Victoria Derby aboard Hitotsu, one week after winning the Cox Plate. Apprentice jockey Lachlan King claimed the first and only Group 1 victory of his career in thw 2020 Derby, riding Johnny Get Angry to victory by a length.
Along with the horse and the jockey, the final piece to any winning horse’s puzzle is the trainer. Nature vs nurture is the age-old question surrounding how people develop, and it is no different with horses. The genetic makeup of a horse provides it with the necessary talent and durability to become a race horse, however for a horse to reach their full potential they must be trained.
As the Derby is a grueling 2,500m race that rewards a horse that can stay the course from start to finish, getting the horse to be at the peak of its powers on Derby day is no easy task. With this in mind, it is often best to follow trainers whose horses have been fit enough to see out the three-year-old classic in previous years.
Lee Freedman is widely regarded as the most successful Victoria Derby trainer of the modern era, leading Benicio to victory in 2005, Portland Player to victory in 1996 and the great Mahogany to victory in 1993.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace continued their incredible success with stayers, training Hitotsu to win the 2021 Victoria Derby. Two time AFL Premiership coach Denis Pagan has also tasted success in his new profession after training Johnny Get Angry in the 2020 Derby.