The Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) takes place at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse annually in November during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and is a weight-for-age race for sprinters.
With $1 million in prizemoney, the race attracts the country’s best sprinters and forms part of the Global Sprint Challenge.
From 2008, the race has taken over from the Australia Stakes as an Australian leg of the Global Sprint Challenge Series. The race is the eight leg of the series, preceded by the Sprinters Stakes and followed by the Hong Kong International Sprint.
First run in 1868, the Darley Classic was won by Gulnare when it known as the Flying Stakes and run over 6 furlongs (approximately 1200m).
Known as the Linlithgow Stakes since 1908, and then the Emirates Classic from 1997, the race was renamed the Lexus Classic in 2004, the Age Classic in 2005 and the Patinack Farm Classic in 2008.
Most recently, the Robert Heathcote-trained Buffering won the VRC Sprint Classic after breaking through for his first win at the highest level when he won the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
The honour roll lists the who’s who of Australian racing and includes the likes of: Barbelle (1870-72), Amounis (1926-27 and 1929), Phar Lap (1930), Chatham (1931-33), Ajax (1937-38), High Castle (1939-41), Matrice (1956-57), Sky High (1962), Wenona Girl (1963), Vain (1969), Placid Ark (1987), Redelva (1988 & 1990), Sequalo (1994), Mahogany (1994), Belle Du Jour (2001), Choisir (2002), Fastnet Rock (2004), Miss Andretti (2007) and Black Caviar (2010-11).
Other feature races on the day include the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m), Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) and the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m).