Victoria Derby Day embodies a world of glamour and sophistication around the Flemington course and all black type racing on the track. Derby Day is definitely a day for the racing purists. There are four races at Group 1 level, with two of those – the Mackinnon Stakes and Lexus Stakes providing opportunity for last minute entry into the Melbourne Cup four days later. The feature event is the Group 1 Victoria Derby boasting in excess of $1.5m in prize money. In fact, the VRC has a massive stakes pool of almost $5m for the nine Group races conducted on Derby Day. With quality fields and competitive racing, this is one of the biggest betting days on the Australian turf calendar. At Flemington, the roses are in full bloom and all vantage points taken. It is a must attend event for Melbourne’s social set and often boasts special guests and high profile celebrities. Traditionally, this is the day for unbridled elegance, with black and white the prominent colours for ladies, while the men also suit up in their ‘Sunday best’. The official flower for Victoria Derby Day is the cornflower.
With five Group 2s and Group 3s complimenting the four Group 1s, Victoria Derby Day is one of the highest as far as betting turnover is concerned. Derby Day 2013 produced a record Saturday turnover for TattsBet with $14m invested on the Flemington meeting alone in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Across all meetings in all four jurisdictions, UBET’s turnover was a record $32.5m, second only to the Melbourne Cup which was $68m (with $44m invested on the Cup itself). But it’s a day when the characters of the turf unleash and open their wallets for ‘whopping wagers’. One that has become urban legend involved former high profile businessman and media tycoon, Kerry Packer. It’s believed Packer inspired a massive plunge on his horse Mahogany, taking millions from bookies in Sydney and Melbourne after it strolled home in the 1993 VRC Derby. In fact, this is just one of a number of stings Mr Packer was famous for in the 1980s and 1990s. One of Packer’s biggest plunges came off in the 1998 Melbourne Cup when Jezabeel won. The mare had been sensationally backed from 14-1 into 6-1 just prior to the start and most of the big bets belonged to Packer.
|RACE NAME||STATUS||PRIZE MONEY||DISTANCE||RACE TYPE||RACE CODE|
|CARBINE CLUB STAKES||GR3||$200,000||1600m||3YO SW+PEN||MR1|
|MUMM WAKEFUL STAKES||GR2||$300,000||2000m||3YO SW+PEN||MR2|
|SENSIS STAKES||GR3||$200,000||1100m||4YO&UP SW+PEN||MR3|
|LEXUS STAKES||GR3||$300,000||2500m||QUALITY HANDICAP||MR4|
|COOLMORE STUD STAKES||GR1||$500,000||1200m||3YO SW||MR5|
|AAMI VICTORIA DERBY||GR1||$1,500,000||2500m||3YO SW||MR7|
|CANTALA STAKES||GR1||$1,000,000||1600m||QUALITY HANDICAP||MR8|
|SALINGER STAKES||GR2||$300,000||1200m||QUALITY HANDICAP||MR9|