Victoria Derby History & Records

Victoria Derby History

The Victoria Derby was first run in 1885, when Rose of May won, making it one of Australia’s oldest flat races.

It started as a principal race run over 12 furlongs. The race distance was converted to 2400m in 1972 to conform to the metric system. The following year the length was increased 100m to its current distance of 2500m for safety reasons, as the previous length meant runners didn’t have enough distance between the start and first turn on the track. Not long after in 1979 the Victoria Derby acquired Group 1 status.

Colts and geldings have dominated the Victoria Derby Results over the years, despite the first three winners all being fillies, with Frances Tressady back in 1923 being the last female to claim victory. The best staying three-year-olds of the season are instead now saved for a run five days later in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on the third day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Many Victoria Derby winners have gone on to become champions of the Australian Turf, including Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995) who ran second in the Melbourne Cup the following Tuesday, Elvstroem (2003) who claimed victory in the following year’s Caulfield Cup, and the great grey stayer Efficient who won the VRC Derby in 2006 and then secured a Melbourne Cup success the next year.

Only one horse in the races’ long history has won two Victoria Derbies, Fireworks won the race two years in succession in 1867 and 1868.

Victoria Derby Records:

Time Record:
2:33.60 set by Star Of The Real in 1991
Most Successful Jockey:
Bobby Lewis rode 8 Victoria Derby Winners – Maltster (1900), Hautvillers (1901), Sylvantie (1904), Alawa (1908), Wolawa (1912), Carlita (1914), Furious (1921) and Trivalve (1927).
Most Successful Trainer:
James Scobie trained 8 Victoria Derby Winners – Malster (1900), Hautvillers (1901), F.J.A. (1903), Sylvantie (1904), Alawa (1908), Wolawa (1912), Trivalve (1927) and Hua (1937).