A Guide To The $2m Group 1 Victoria Derby

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Shadow Hero

VICTORIA DERBY

The $2 million Victoria Derby is a Group One Classic for three-year-olds run over 2500m at Melbourne’s Flemington racecourse

It will run as race seven at 3.45pm AEDT on Saturday, November 2

HISTORY

  • First run in 1855 when won by Rose Of May, the Victoria Derby pre-dates the Melbourne Cup by six years
  • Fire Oak (1990) became the first maiden since Martini-Henri to win. Two years later Redding repeated the feat
  • James Scobie holds the training record with eight winners
  • The late Bart Cummings and the late TJ Smith share modern-day training honours with five winners each
  • Gai Waterhouse, daughter of TJ Smith, became the first woman to train a Victoria Derby winner when Nothin’ Leica Dane, part-owned by her father, won in 1995
  • James Cummings made history with Prized Icon’s 2016 victory as the first fourth-generation trainer to win a Victoria Derby
  • Legendary jockey Bobby Lewis holds the most Victoria Derby wins with eight
  • Tulloch was the shortest-priced favourite at 1-10 ($1.10) odds when he won in 1957

NOTABLE WINNERS

Manfred (1925), Phar Lap (1929), Skipton (1941), Comic Court (1948), Delta (1949), Tulloch (1957), Sky High (1960), Tobin Bronze (1965), Dulcify (1978), Mahogany (1993), Elvstroem (2003), Efficient (2006), Preferment (2014), Ace High (2017)

TALKING POINTS

  • The 2500m is a query for every runner as the Victoria Derby offers the first chance for three-year-olds to be tested at the distance
  • Prize money has remained at $2 million after increasing by $500,000 in 2018
  • Extra Brut won in 2018 from Stars Of Carrum and Chapada
  • Shadow Hero, who beat Cox Plate runner-up Castelvecchio in the Spring Champions Stakes, is the $3 favourite
  • The Vase and Caulfield Classic are the traditional lead-up races, with Soul Patch and Thought Of That this year’s respective winners
  • Linda Meech was controversially replaced by Mark Zahra to ride second favourite Thought Of That
  • Relucent is striving to become Chris Waller’s first runner since Preferment in 2014 to win as a maiden
  • Trainer Ken Keys could break his Group One duck with Soul Patch

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING

  • “I haven’t really got any question marks. It’s only that I want a race that gives every horse their chance and I think if that happens I’m confident that my horse horse will come out on top,” – Shadow Hero’s trainer Mark Newnham
  • “Since we put the shades on him he’s really sharpened up. He’s really enjoying his racing. He’s in super order and I think he’ll improve into the Derby as well” – Thought Of That’s co-trainer Ciaron Maher
  • “Dwayne Dunn thought he was OK in them (blinkers) and this week with the good barrier, he should get some cover. I just thought if it’s not broken, why try and fix it” – Soul Patch’s trainer Ken Keys on Soul Patch’s blinkers
  • “He’s by Savabeel and you wouldn’t expect the Derby distance to be any concern, and probably it’s a big asset to him to have that staying bloodline” – Relucent’s trainer Chris Waller

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