The ATC Derby held over the classic distance of 2400m or 12 furlongs in the old scale and run at set weights, has long been considered the ultimate Derby to win because of its position in the Autumn. One of the oldest races on the Sydney calendar, the race was first held in 1861 and with the advent of The Championships, the 2016 edition will carry total stakes of $2,000,000 with the winner to receive $1,200,000.
In 2016 the race offered ballot exemptions to the winners of the 2016 Randwick and Rosehill Guineas. Under the set-weights scale, the weight for colts and geldings is set at 56.5kg and for fillies is 54.5kg.
Some of the great stayers have won this race, including It’s A Dundeel, Octagonal, Mahogany and Kingston Town in the modern era, while horses from past eras to win the race include Tulloch, Peter Pan, Phar Lap and the inaugural winner Kyogle.
The Australian Derby forms a part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|ATC Australian Derby Guide|
|Date:||Saturday 2nd April 2016|
|Race Time:||14:50 AEST|
|Race Type:||3YO Under Set Weights|
|2016 Australian Derby Odds|
|8||WHAT'S THE STORY||-||-|
|11||OH SO SPLENDIDO||-||-|
No natural leader in this race – this looks like it could be another sit-sprint like the Rosehill Guineas. TALLY and JAMEKA may slide forward from wider barriers while TARZINO could easily find himself in a striking position just behind the leaders.
TAVAGO became NZ Derby favourite after his second consecutive win in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki on November 27. His Derby prep started with a close up third in the Karaka Mile where he unsuccessfully protested against the first two placegetters – he was very unlucky not to win! Tavago was sent out favourite in the Waikato Guineas (2000m) but failed to beat another horse home – jarring up badly on the dry Te Rapa surface. That run knocked him around so much that he missed the Avondale Guineas a fortnight later – the traditional Derby lead-up – and went straight to the NZ Derby (2400m) with a month between runs as an unfancied 20/1 chance. His hopes of victory were effectively extinguished 600 metres after the start, when he was one of ten horses in the race to be severely checked on the first turn. Despite all that adversity, Tavago thundered home from last, running his last 800 metres over a second quicker than any other rival in the race, to finish sixth beaten two lengths from the winner.
TALLY finished behind TARZINO when they last met in the Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) last October. Since then Tarzino has won two Group 1 races and Tally is unbeaten from four starts and won two Group 2 races. Tally was strong at the end of 2040 metres in the Alister Clark and should eat up the extra distance. Tarzino won the VRC Derby (2500m) in the spring and won’t have any issues running out the trip either. His Rosehill Guineas win showed that he had the ability to take a forward position early and sprint sharply off a moderate speed.
You can make a case that ETYMOLOGY should have beaten Tarzino twice last campaign, once over 1600 metres at Caulfield and the other occasion when enduring an interrupted run in the VRC Derby. Along with VANBRUGH, he wasn’t suited by the slow tempo in the Rosehill Guineas but still found the line nicely.
JAMEKA, the only filly in the field, was outsprinted late in the Rosehill Guineas and appears ready for the rise to 2400 metres in Saturday’s Derby but is probably just a place chance.
With a campaign that has been built all around peaking for this race, everything appears to be in place for the Mick Price trained colt. Really appreciating the step up to 2000m in the Rosehill Guineas, Tarzino was devastating in victory. Racing in behind the pace on the fence he was in perfect position to strike, ambled up at the 300m to Jameka who was leading and by the 200m had the race in his keeping. The Guineas run was his first taste of the Sydney right-handed direction of racing and he appeared to handle it with ease. His 3 runs this campaign have all been strong and the extra distance from the Guineas at 2000m to the 2400m of the Derby looks ideal and if successful will be the first since Mahogany to complete the VRC/ATC Derby double.
A winner of his last 4 starts in succession, the Godolphin owned Tally has shown improvement and a glimpse of his talent with Group victories in his last 2 starts. Given a taste of stronger competition in the Spring he went around in the G2 Moonee Valley Vase, finishing 5th behind Jameka. Resuming with wins in 2 lowly assessed benchmark events he was then stepped back up to Group racing and was successful in the G2 Autumn Classic at Caulfield. He followed that with a dominant win in the G2 Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley over 2040m, defeating Palentino by 2¼ lengths, a race won by Ethiopia in 2012 on the way to winning the Derby. This is his first look at Randwick and racing right handed and the first time he has been beyond 2040m.
Scratched from the G1 Vinery Stud Stakes last Saturday, the Ciaron Maher trained filly will again take on the boys following from her 3rd in the G1 Rosehill Guineas. The run in the Guineas was a top effort, starting from the outside barrier in the 14 horse field, she worked forward after being wide for the first 500m and raced on the pace, hitting the front with 400m to run, she led into the straight and was collared by Tarzino at the 200m and fought gamely to hold 3rd. Getting out to 2400m for the first time this campaign, she is a winner over 2500m when taking out the VRC Oaks in the Spring and is 4th up this preparation. Her spring preparation when 4th up she was successful in the G2 Moonee Valley Vase with those that were beaten including Tarzino, Tally and Sovereign Nation.
All preparation, the John O’Shea trained colt has appeared to be looking for more distance and he gets that here with the longer trip of 2400m looking a much better fit and the one time winner is on the 6th line of betting. Etymology has now had 3 runs this campaign, stepping up in distance each time and showing improvement at each run. His path to the Derby has seen him begin in the G2 Hobartville at 1400m, then to the G1 Randwick Guineas over 1600m and his latest effort when 6th to Tarzino in the G1 Rosehill Guineas at 2000m. He draws well in the middle of the line in gate 5 and last Spring placed 3rd in the G3 Norman Robinson and followed that with a 2nd in the G1 Victorian Derby behind Tarzino.
The ATC Australian Derby is a Group 1 race that takes place on Day 1 of The Championships. Held at the famous Royal Randwick Racecourse, it is raced alongside other prestigious Group 1 races such as the Doncaster Mile and the TJ Smith Stakes. It is a race for three-year-olds at set weights. Considered by many as the premier staying event for three-year-olds in Australia and New Zealand, it is run over a distance of 2400m. Starting off as the AJC Randwick Derby Stakes in 1861, the race changed to the AJC Australia Derby Stakes in 1873 before finally becoming the AJC Australian Derby in 1993. This race has been won by some first-class horses, from Mahogany in 1994 to Starcraft in 2004.
It has also been won by Kiwi champion It’s A Dundeel. The Australian Derby has proven to be a very handy guide to the Group 1 Caulfield Cup, which is held during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Looking through the history books, this race boasts an impressive honour roll which includes; Posideon (1906), Gloaming (1918), Phar Lap (1929), Peter Pan (1932), Tulloch (1957), Skyline (1958), Belmura Lad (1977), Dulcify (1979), Kingston Town (1980), Strawberry Road (1983), Bonecrusher (1986) and Octagonal (1996). The ATC Derby is a blue ribbon event and enhances the winner’s value when it comes time for stud duties.
|2016||TAVAGO||TOMMY BERRY||TRENT BUSUTTIN||02:33.6|
|2015||MONGOLIAN KHAN||OPIE BOSSON||MURRAY BAKER||02:37.1|
|2014||CRITERION||HUGH BOWMAN||DAVID PAYNE||02:38.4|
|2013||IT’S A DUNDEEL||JAMES MCDONALD||MURRAY BAKER||02:33.4|
|2012||ETHIOPIA||RHYS MCLEOD||PATRICK CAREY||02:28.7|
|2011||SHAMROCKER||GLEN BOSS||DANNY O’BRIEN||02:29.4|
|2010||SHOOT OUT||STATHI KATSIDIS||JOHN WALLACE||02:32.6|
|2009||ROMAN EMPEROR||JIM CASSIDY||BART CUMMINGS||02:31.0|
|2008||NOM DU JEU||JEFFREY LLOYD||MURRAY BAKER||02:36.2|
|2007||FIUMICINO||DARREN BEADMAN||JOHN HAWKES||02:36.0|
|2006||HEADTURNER||DARREN BEADMAN||JOHN HAWKES||02:29.9|