The Victoria Derby (2500m) is one of the classic Group 1 races held at the Flemington Racecourse during the Melbourne Spring Carnival. It is for 3 year olds held under set weight conditions and is run in October.
All the action starts with four races at the elite Group 1 level. For the winners of the Longines Mackinnon Stakes and Lexus Stakes, it provides the opportunity for last-minute entry into the coveted Emirates Melbourne Cup field. The feature race of the day is the Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby boasting impressive prize money of over $1 million.
Traditionally, women wear black and white on Derby Day, and men don their elegant morning suits with the official Derby Day buttonhole, the blue cornflower. Over the years, many fabulous takes on the dress code have been photographed trackside on the stars and fashionistas amid the glam marquees of the famous Birdcage. International names rocking their best black and white have included movie queen Hilary Swank and US soap star Ron Moss.
There are plenty of fun facts around this storied race; the first one was run in 1855 and won by Rose of May, and the beloved Phar Lap claimed honours in 1929. Twelve horses have won the desirable double of Victoria Derby and Melbourne Cup. Gai Waterhouse is the only woman to have trained a winner of the Victoria Derby (Nothin’ Leica Dane, 1995) and in 2005, Clare Lindop became the first female jockey to ride in the Derby, going on to become the first female to win in 2008.