Victoria Derby Betting Odds

A Group One race for three-year-olds, the Victoria Derby is held on the Saturday before the Cup over 2500m with a total prize purse over $1.5m. Paul Bugeja explains why the Derby is one for the purists...

1855 was the year that saw the first running of the oldest classic race on the Victorian racing calender - the (AAMI) Victoria Derby, six years before the Melbourne Cup's inaugural run.

An event in the Spring Racing Carnival that the VRC likes to call the day for 'racing purists', Derby Day is considered by many as the most prestigious of racing days as it kicks off the three-day Melbourne Cup Carnival.

On this day of all black-type races, Melbourne's elite gather at Flemington racecourse to watch some of the finest thoroughbreds in the country line-up for the 2500m Derby.

Originally run over a classic distance of 1.5 miles (or 12 furlongs), in 1972, to conform with the metric system, the race was trimmed slightly to 2400m. Almost immediately the VRC recognised that the new distance presented potential dangers for participants due to there now being too short a run from the start to the last turn, so, a year later, the distance was pushed out to 2500m.

Over time, the AAMI Victoria Derby has become the most esteemed and richest three-year-old staying feature in the country, currently valued at $AUD1.5 million dollars, with some of the biggest names in racing taking out first place, including Phar Lap (1929), Tulloch (1957), Poseidon (1906) and Dulcify (1978).

In its early days, the Derby appeared fertile ground for the fillies. Rose of May was the first of three to take it out when she won the inaugural running in 1855, but sadly for the fairer species this has not followed through over time, with the only other filly since then to win being Frances Tressady in 1923.

Similar to Melbourne Cup day, Derby Day is marked off in the calenders of many of Melbourne's elite as a must-be-seen event during the Spring Racing Carnival, with the day often tallying the highest attendance for the three-day Carnival.

A massive part of Derby Day's allure, besides the racing of course, is that it officially kicks of the 'Myer Fashions on the Field'. This curtain-raiser day for the Melbourne Cup Carnival provides the opportunity for race-goers to strut their stuff, peacock-like around the Flemington environs, with the women traditionally in some assemblage of black and white.

However, the day has become renowned as a day for the men to take centre-fashion-stage, dressed up to the nines in morning suits, classically attired with the aim of walking away both with some tiding takings from the punt and maybe a prize for being suited up in the best bag of fruit.

But as important as the fashions are, the day is still about the racing, and the AAMI Victoria Derby has provided fertile ground for trainers and jockeys alike to amass a string of victories.

Bobbie Lewis takes out the leading jockey title, having snapped up the title on no-less than eight occasions: Maltster (1900), Hautvillers (1901), Sylvante (1904), Alawa (1908), Woolawa (1912), Carlita (1914), Furious (1921) and Trivavle (1927).

Also with a hefty eight wins is leading trainer James Scobie: Maltster (1900), Hautvillers (1901), FJA (1903), Sylvante (1904), Alawa (1908), Woolawa (1912), Trivavle (1927) and Hua (1937).

And it will come as no surprise to modern day horse racing fans that Bart Cummings holds the most wins (five) in recent times, and that Damien Oliver holds the recent highest tally for jockeys with four wins.

This shows the kind of calibre of participants Derby Day attracts, and a Spring Racing Carnival wouldn't be the same without it.

Betfair will have, as always, great Victoria Derby odds and great Horse Racing odds throughout the entire Spring Racing Carnival on both the Betfair Exchange and using our Tote products, including Best of 5, available at all the major meets including every race on Derby Day.

And don't forget to get in early with your Melbourne Cup Betting, with Betfair offering brilliant Melbourne Cup odds now!

Weird and Wonderful facts about the Derby Day

1. Important lead-up form races for the AAMI Victorian Derby include the AAMI Vase, Caulfield Guineas, Geelong Classic and Bill Stutt Stakes. Seven of the past Eleven winners have come through the Vase.
2. Clare Lindop became the first female jockey to ride in the Victoria Derby in 2005 went on to become the first female to win in 2008.
3. Similar to Melbourne Cup Day, AAMI Victorian Derby Day has its own flower - the cornflower
4. Only three maidens have won the AAMI Victorian Derby. In 1883, the New Zealand-bred horse Martini Henry won the Victoria Derby at his first start. This was followed up by Fire Oak in 1990 and Redding in 1992.
5. The mighty Phar Lap, of course, added a Derby to his trophy cabinet with a win in 1929.
6. Gai Waterhouse entered the winning trainer's circle for the AAMI Victorian Derby with Nothin' Leica Dane in 1995.
7. The most recent favourite to win the AAMI Victoria Derby was Efficient in 2006, which started @ (2.40)
8. Star of the Realm holds the race record at 2min 33.6 seconds
9. Derby Day is the only day where every race on the card has Group status
10. 129,089 people attended in 2006 - Still a Flemington record attendance

Last 10 Winners

2012 Fiveandahalfstar Damien Oliver
2011 Sangster Hugh Bowman
2010 Lion Tamer Hugh Bowman
2009 Monaco Consul Corey Brown
2008 Rebel Raider Clare Lindop
2007 Kibbutz Craig Williams
2006 Efficient Michael Rodd
2005 Benicio Noel Callow
2004 Plastered Paul Harvey
2003 Elvstroem Damien Oliver

For the best fixed odds and market odds betting on the Victoria Derby check out Betfair. Australians only betting exchange, offering better odds, greater choice and more control over your betting experience.