Victoria Derby Tips & Betting Advice

Victoria Derby 2019

Date Saturday, November 2, 2019
Track Flemington Racecourse
Distance 2500m
Class Group 1
Race Type Set Weights
Prize Money $2 million
Age 3YO


Our experts will have their pre-race predictions and Victoria Derby betting selections available for the Group 1 race.

Some key Victoria Derby pointers are:

  • The Moonee Valley Vase on Cox Plate Day is the ideal lead up
  • Barriers 1 to 6 have produced most winners
  • A draw wider than gate nine is a major disadvantage


Australia’s leading bookmakers offer you the chance to watch the Victoria Derby (and all other races from Victorian tracks) free of charge.

You can watch all Flemington races including the Victoria Derby streamed live online at:

Become a member of any of the bookmakers and enjoy the coverage free. To find out how to stream the Victoria Derby live, click on the dedicated link.


Bookmakers Ladbrokes, BetEasy, Sportsbet and Neds are the best places to bet on the Victoria Derby and all Flemington races. They offer some of the best odds and promotions on the big race and also stream the race live online. Or take advantage of the top 5 bookmakers below.


The Victoria Derby is the feature race on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse as the very best three-year-old colts and geldings – and the occasional filly – attempt to capture the Classic.

Part of the Melbourne Spring Carnival, the Group 1 takes place on a Saturday at the end of October or beginning or November (depending where the following Tuesday falls as the Melbourne Cup always takes place on the first Tuesday in November) to get Melbourne Cup week underway.

The 2500m race, which has a prize fund of $1.5million, attracts the best staying performers of the three-year-old brigade clash under set-weight conditions.

From a vast amount of entries, the best 16 (plus four emergencies) will make the nominations field. Because of the competitiveness of the entries, entry is decided first on the winners of eligible races and then by prize money won over the past two seasons.

The Victoria Derby dates back to 1855 making it Australia’s oldest race, and was run over 2400m for much of its history. But with the distance from the barriers to the first turn deemed too short, it was extended to 2500m in 1973 to ensure a fair start for all runners and meaning the gate draw did not hold the key to the result of the race.

Rose Of May won the first-ever Victoria Derby and he has been followed onto the roll our honour some real star names including the legendary Phar Lap, who won the race in 1929 and is regarded as the best horse to win the Victoria Derby having gone on to great acclaim.

Other winners of the Victoria Derby include Fireworks, who won the race twice before it became limited to three-year-olds only, Poseidon, another early winner in 1906, Tulloch, who took the race on his way to stardom in 1957, future Cox Plate winners Dulcify (1978) and Red Anchor (1984), Elvstroem, who triumphed in 2003 before taking out the Caulfield Cup the following year as a four-year-old, and 2006 winner Efficient, who went on to win the Melbourne Cup the following year and become for the first horse since Phar Lap to win the Flemington race the year after winning the Victoria Derby.

There has been a drought for the fillies who were brave enough to take on the colts and geldings, with the last to achieve victory being Frances Tressaday back in 1923.

Among the key lead up races for the Victoria Derby is the AAMI Vase, a Group 2 race staged over 2040m a week earlier at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day. Raveneaux (1986), Blevic (1994), Helenus (2002), Plastered (2004) and Efficient (2006) are some of those to do the double with the latter proving to be a real star by landing the Melbourne Cup the following year. The race has proven to be the best guide to finding the winner of the Victoria Derby.

The Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes, held at Caulfield, and the listed Cranbourne Cup both provide plenty of clues to the Victoria Derby each year, as do the Cox Plate, in which some three-year-olds will have clashed with the elders, the Caulfield Cup or the Caulfield Guineas.

The winner of the Victoria Derby is exempt from ballot for the Melbourne Cup if taking up the engagement three days later. Nothin’ Leica Dane attempted to complete the double in 1995 only to be denied by Doriemus at Flemington as he came home in second place. Other runners will have a variety of potential targets on their agenda after running in the Victoria Derby. Any fillies deemed good enough to have taken on the colts and geldings will most likely appear again in the VRC Oaks, the fillies only equivalent of the Victoria Derby which takes place five days later, while the three-year-old programme often sees horses bid for victory in the Sandown Classic, Queen Elizabeth Stakes or Geelong Cup. Alternatively, they may spell ahead of a busy summer and autumn campaign.

Victoria Derby Winners (Since 2000)

2000 Hit The Roof
2001 Amalfi
2002 Helenus
2003 Elvstroem
2004 Plastered
2005 Benicio
2006 Efficient
2007 Kibbutz
2008 Rebel Raider
2009 Monaco Consul
2010 Lion Tamer
2011 Sangster
2012 Fiveandahalfstar
2013 Polanski
2014 Preferment
2015 Tarzino
2016 Prized Icon
2017 Ace High
2018 Extra Brut
2019 Warning


Flemington is a spacious track with one of the longest straights in Australia at 450m which gives all horses an equal chance with luck in running.

Flemington also has a 1200 metre straight track for racing which is commonly referred to as “The Straight Six” course.

The run to first turn in the Melbourne Cup is 888m, ensuring that no horse has their chances hampered during the opening half-a-mile.


Steeped in tradition and home of Australia’s most iconic race, the Melbourne Cup, Flemington is arguably Australia’s most famous racecourse.

Crowds in excess of 100,000 people are a common occurrence during Flemington’s biggest race days where the Victorian Racing Club provides an entertaining environment for all.

The racecourse was first built in the 1850s and made its way onto the National Heritage List in 2006.

Flemington was originally named the Melbourne Racecourse on Crown Land after the Governor of New South Wales in 1848 formally declared 352 acres as a public racecourse and set up a six-member trust to oversee the racecourse.

The Victoria Racing Club Act passed by the government in 1871, made the club the trustees of the racecourse.

The Gold Rush era brought great wealth to Melbourne and Flemington soon grew in popularity, attracting vibrant crowds by the thousands.

Races were initially run in autumn, however, in 1854 the Victoria Turf Club decided to hold spring meetings due to favourable weather conditions – this eventually led to the hosting of the Melbourne Cup.