Tue, Oct 31, 9:57am by Staff Writer
The Victoria Derby is the opening Group 1 feature of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, following last Saturday’s Group 1 Cox Plate.
In that race, champion mare Winx created history by winning her third consecutive Cox Plate ahead of Humidor and Folkswood.
The Victoria Derby is typically a race for young staying types and is run over 2,500m.
The race is worth $1.5 million in prize money and was first run over 150 years ago.
Victoria Derby Day features two Group 1 races, with the three-years-old staying feature joined on the Flemington card by the Group 1, 1,200m Coolmore Stud Stakes for the short distance sprinters of the same age.
Favourites have generally had a poor history in this race, with Tarzino in 2015 the only top fancy to win in the last 10 years.
Upsets have been aplenty in this race, with Rebel Raider winning at 100/1 in 2008 one such example.
This year, the top five horses in the betting have been difficult to separate.
Leading the market at Sportsbet is Main Stage at $4.80. The three-year-old gelding from New Zealand is based at Cranbourne and has had a suite of good results recently.
He has placed in his last seven races, including where he stormed home with 400m to go at Flemington over 1,800m early this month in the $120,000 UCI Stakes, defeating Cliff’s Edge.
Ace High is seen as Main Stage’s nearest competitor at $5.50 at Sportsbet. Trained by David Payne, this colt has won at Group 1 level before.
His most recent win was at Royal Randwick in early October. On that day he was ridden by Tye Angland and earnt $500,000 in prize money, defeating Tangled.
Tangled is one of three horses priced in the $6 to $7 range at Sportsbet along with Sully and Weather With You.
Tangled ($6) has won at Group 2 level and is regarded as a very talented racehorse. It is due for a breakout performance, after being there or thereabouts in previous races.
Weather With You ($6) has targeted this race for some time and ran first in last week’s Geelong Classic, amassing $120,000 in prize money that day.
Sully ($6.50) is a gelding from New Zealand and has two career wins thus far. A third placed finish at Royal Randwick behind Ace High and Tangled has this horse rightfully at fifth place in the betting at the moment.
As always, the barrier draw will be important and this race is no different. Wide Victoria Derby barriers have produced three winners since 2008, so it won’t be all doom and gloom should your horse draw a wide barrier.
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