2020 Victoria Derby: Race History

The big race on the opening day hasn’t always provided the best of colts through the Victoria Derby run at Flemington on Saturday.

Efficient winning the A A M I - Victoria Derby
Efficient winning the A A M I - Victoria Derby Picture: Racing and Sports

Efficient was one who went on to great glory after that. Will the 2020 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday return to that level?

2020 Victoria Derby: Nominations


The Victoria Derby is a Group 1 race run under Set Weight conditions for three year olds at Flemington conducted by the Victoria Racing Club.

The Victoria Derby is run over 2500m. It was first run in 1855 and was won by Rose Of May.

The race was a mile and a half all the way through until 1973 when it was 2500m.

2019 G1 Victoria Derby - Warning

The Victoria Derby was a Principal Race until 1979 then Group 1.

The Derby is actually older than the Melbourne Cup.

There has often been a discussion about reducing the Derby's distance for two reasons. Firstly there is only 200m to the first turn from the 2500m start but more importantly the Derby comes up so quickly in the season for the youngsters.

Horses that have had runs coming down from Sydney have had good recent records in the Victoria Derby as opposed to those concentrating solely on southern campaigns.

The Spring Champion Stakes was moved back a week to help with that pattern. Those to do the Spring Champion/Victoria Derby double are Stylish Century, Nothin' Leica Dane, Monaco Consul and Ace High.

There are many ways to head to the Derby. The Vase at the Valley, Caulfield Classic, Cox Plate, Spring Champion or the Geelong Classic are all viable lead ups.

Last Caulfield Guineas winner to do the double was Helenus in 2002 and before that Mahogany in 1993.

Rebel Raider won the Derby at 100-1 in 2008.

Two maidens won the Derby in the space of 3 years - Fire Oak (1990) & Redding (1992) and then Preferment did it again in 2014.

Only two recent Derby winners went on to run in the Melbourne Cup (Nothin' Leica Dane 2nd & Arena 15th). Efficient was to run but was scratched on race morning.

History was made at Flemington in 2016 when Prized Icon won for James Cummings. This win made it four generations of the famous name tasting Victoria Derby success.

On the day Damien Oliver set the record for most Cup week winners taking over from Bobbie Lewis, he also won the Victoria Derby on Warning in 2019.

The Victoria Derby was worth $2,000,000 in 2020.

Notable winners of the Victoria Derby include Ace High (2017), Preferment (2014), Monaco Consul (2009), Efficient (2006), Elvstroem (2003), Nothin' Leica Dane (1995), Mahogany (1993), Stylish Century (1989), Handy Proverb (1985), Red Anchor (1984), Grosvenor (1982), Dulcify (1978), Taj Rossi (1973), Silver Sharpe (1970), Tobin Bronze (1965), Sky High (1960), Tulloch (1957), Sailor's Guide (1955), Hydrogen (1951), Delta (1949), Comic Court (1948), Skipton (1941), Hall Mark (1933), Phar Lap (1929), Manfred (1925), Poseidon (1906), Grand Flaneur (1881) and Briseis (1877).

The 2019 Victoria Derby was won by Warning from Southern Moon and Soul Patch.

Racing and Sports