AAMI Victoria Derby Day will feature the best race card on this year’s calendar with every race being a Group race, including four exciting Groups 1s. The feature will be the G1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) for three year olds. While fillies can enter the race, the fields have traditionally been made up of colts and geldings with the last filly winning way back in 1923.
This year’s race looks very open and there are a number of key chances with Sydney duo Ace High and Tangled near the top of the market. Ace High won the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) ahead of Tangled at Royal Randwick which looks to be an ideal Derby trial for both runners. Tangled also went on to run second in another key lead up race The Caulfield Classic (2000m) and looks primed for the AAMI Victoria Derby. The well-named Main Stage who finished third in that race could make Richmond superstar Dustin Martin’s year even better; he’s a part owner of the horse who will enjoy returning to Flemington after winning the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) on Seppelt Turnbull Stakes Day. Other leading chances include New Zealand horse Weather With You who won the Listed Geelong Classic (2000m), Sully, and Astoria.
Picture: Main Stage
The Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) for three year olds will also be an open race and for the first time ever the prize money has been increased to $1 million. The race has attracted a full field of 20 and this year the fillies will have a strong say in the outcome with Everest runners Tulip (5th) and Houtzen (7th) returning to their own age group to be leading contenders. Joining these two will be G1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner Catchy coming off a third placing into the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Group 3 Blue Sapphire (1200m) winner Formality. This year’s Sydney form looks strong and trainer James Cummings will have three leading contenders with Kemantari, Malahat, and Viridine who will be looking to continue his unbeaten start to his career. There are also a further two Group 1 winners making the trip south in Trapeze Artist who won the Group 1 Golden Rose (1200m), and The Mission who took out the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1200m) in April.
The Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) for fillies and mares has also produced a wide open field with defending champion I Am A Star looking to make it back to back wins after being the first three year old filly to win the race. This year, Shoals will be looking to emulate her and will be the only filly to take part after finishing second in the G1 Thousand Guineas (1600m). The Chris Waller-trained Foxplay also looms as a leading chance and in August was almost the horse to break Winx’s winning streak when she finished just a short head behind the wander mare. Other key contenders are Sydney trio Daysee Doom, Dixie Blossoms and Global Glamour who won the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) just two weeks ago.
Picture: I Am A Star
The last Group 1 race on the card is the Group 1 Kennedy Mile (1600m) which will feature a number of Group 1 winners including last start Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) winner Tosen Stardom, the versatile Lucky Hussler and the up and coming Egg Tart. The enigmatic Tom Melbourne will look to finally fulfil his potential and win a major race, as will sectional star So Si Bon. Other leading contenders include Sovereign Nation who ran second in his last start in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap behind Tosen Stardom, and the Chris Waller-trained McCreery.
Picture: Egg Tart
Other key races to look out for are the Group 3 Lexus Stakes, with the winner gaining ballot exemption into the Emirates Melbourne Cup just four days later. Last year’s winner Qewy went on to run fourth in the Cup, while the last horse to win both was Shocking in 2009. The Group 2 G.H.Mumm Wakeful Stakes will also feature as a lead up race to one of the carnival features, the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m) with Pure Scot, Teodora and Bring Me Roses all leading chances.
Be there live to witness all the magic unfold on AAMI Victoria Derby Day. Purchase your tickets today.