Ladbrokes Tip: The Manikato Stakes has produced many recent VRC Sprint Classic winners
The Group 1 $2 million VRC Sprint Classic – currently run as the Darley Sprint Classic – is a 1200m sprint feature held on Mackinnon Stakes Day on the Saturday after Melbourne Cup Day in early November each Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The marquee race for short distance stars during the carnival, the weight-for-age feature is one of the headline events on the final day of the four-day Cup Carnival and has held elite level status since 1979. It is has recently been run as the Darley Classic due to sponsorship.
The inaugural winner in 1960 was Karina and since then top-line sprinters to win the race include Hareeba (1994), Takeover Target (2004), Miss Andretti (2007) and of course the mighty mare Black Caviar (2010 & 2011).
The VRC Sprint Classic takes place down the famous Flemington Racecourse ‘Straight Six’ and is the key support act at the meeting that is highlighted by the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m). The other standout race on the card is the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) offering a bonus to the winner if they had been balloted out of that year’s Melbourne Cup field.
The Darley Sprint Classic now serves as a key follow-up for sprinters out of the world’s richest turf race, the $15 million The Everest (1200m) run at Royal Randwick in October.
In 2017 the inaugural The Everest winner Redzel continued on to take out the Darley Classic. The following three VRC Sprint Classic winners also came off a run in The Everest with Santa Ana Lane (6th in 2018), Nature Strip (4th in 2019) and Bivouac (2nd in 2020).
In 2021 Nature Strip became the latest horse to complete The Everest – Darley Sprint Classic double when winning the latter for a second time.
The 2021 Darley Sprint Classic ran on 2021 and was won by Chris Waller’s The Everest champion and $1.28 favourite Nature Strip.
2021 VRC Sprint Classic Results
The official VRC Sprint Classic 2021 Results & Finishing Order for the Flemington sprint classic will be available below once the race takes place on Saturday November 6, 2021.
- 1st: #1 Nature Strip ($1.28F)
- 2nd: #7 Swats That
- 3rd: #6 Bella Nipotina
Nature Strip ($1.28F) was in a league of his own, Australia’s best sprinter exploding over the final furlong having lead all-the-way up the middle of the famous ‘Straight Six’ track at Flemington to win his second Darley Classic by over three lengths. The Chris Waller-trained champion has now won over $15 million in prize money and became history’s second horse to complete The Everest – VRC Sprint Classic double. He is also now a dual Darley Classic winner having also won the race in 2019 and is eyeing a trip to the UK for next year’s Royal Ascot Carnival.
VRC Sprint Classic Race Info
- Date: Saturday November 6, 2021
- Track: Flemington Racecourse
- Distance: 1200m
- Conditions: Weight-for-age
- Status: Group 1
- Prize Money: $2 million
- First Run: 1960
VRC Sprint Classic Betting
Redzel confirmed himself as Australia’s best sprinter that year after taking out the 2017 Darley Classic. Photo by Racing.com
VRC Sprint Classic betting markets first open with the early nominations a couple of months out from race day and offer juicy ante-post prices on the possible runners in the sprint classic.
Futures VRC Sprint Classic odds are always generous but some punters prefer to wait until the field is out before getting behind their favourites.
Horses that ran well in their lead-up Group start usually dominate the odds as plenty of recent VRC Sprint Classic winners came off a lead-up win including Buffering (2013) and Redzel (2017) who did The Everest – Darley Classic double. Nature Strip became history’s second The Everest – Darley Sprint Classic champion in 2021.
Sprinters that ran well in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight earlier usually sit high up the VRC Sprint Classic odds online as the race produced three of the five winners from 2012-16 including Buffering (2013) who did the double.
Redzel ($4 in 2017) followed by Bivouac ($3.20 in 2020) and the very short-priced Nature Strip ($1.28 in 2021) are the latest favourites in Darley Sprint Classic betting to salute for the punters.
2021 VRC Sprint Classic Odds
The season’s updated VRC Sprint Classic 2021 betting odds and links to our markets on the Flemington Group 1 sprint will be available here once available so stay tuned for the best prices on your VRC Sprint Classic tips this spring.
Early market betting odds on the 2022 VRC Sprint Classic will be displayed below once available. Odds are subject to fluctuation. For current odds on all of our live markets, please visit ladbrokes.com.au.
VRC Sprint Classic Tips
VRC Sprint Classic tips are led by in-form spring sprinters with previous form down the famous Flemington straight. Previous Group 1 winners and those coming off a good run in the Manikato Stakes in the lead-up also make good VRC Sprint Classic betting tips.
Other smart tips on the VRC Sprint Classic are to look for horses that won their lead-up race, come off a run in The Everest in Sydney and have drawn an inside alley as just two horses since 2006 have won from a double digit barrier with Mental (10 in 2012) and Malaguerra (11 in 2016).
The Everest has proved the best lead-up race into the VRC Sprint Classic in recent years producing all five winners from 2017-21 most recently in 2021 with Nature Strip completing the double for Chris Waller.
2021 VRC Sprint Classic Tips
Our Ladbrokes’ insider VRC Sprint Classic 2021 betting tips and Flemington racing selections will be detailed below the week of the race so stay tuned for the short-distance specialists to back and sack this spring.
- To Win: #1 Nature Strip ($1.35 at time of publish)
The short-priced favourite may have been beaten in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, but don’t expect that to happen in the Darley Classic! Chris Waller, fresh off his outstanding Cup victory with glamour mare Verry Elleegant, chases his third VRC Sprint Classic win this weekend. Two years back he won with Nature Strip, the champion sprinters also second last year. The horse is going as good as ever having pulled up well off his sensational $15 million The Everest win in Sydney and he’ll be even better against an easier field here down the ‘Straight Six’.
VRC Sprint Classic Field
The VRC Sprint Classic field has attracted big numbers plenty of recent editions of the Group spring showdown, but Black Caviar scared off her rivals in 2010 and 2011 defeating just six other contenders for her back-to-back victories.
The VRC Sprint Classic field is made of the season’s best sprinters and traditionally features Manikato Stakes graduates, with the last to complete the Manikato – Darley Classic double being Buffering (2013).
Final VRC Sprint Classic acceptances close the Wednesday before the race while the early nominations close in September and usually feature over 50 entries.
2021 VRC Sprint Classic Field
The official VRC Sprint Classic 2021 Final Field & Barriers are set for release on Wednesday November 3, 2021 at 9:30am (local time) and will be published below once out so bookmark this page to view the top sprinters set to do battle in the Flemington feature.
The 2019 champion and last year’s runner-up Nature Strip dominates the 2021 Darley Sprint Classic field and betting markets off his $15 million The Everest win this weekend at Flemington.
2021 VRC Sprint Classic Nominations
The VRC Sprint Classic Nominations for 2021 close the week of the race and the full list of early VRC Sprint Classic entries will be available below once released by Racing Victoria.
The 2021 Darley Classic nominations attracted 15 sprinters including Chris Waller’s Coolmore Stud Stakes winner from Derby Day Home Affairs and the stable’s $15 million The Everest champion Nature Strip.
||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
||FLAT HEAVEN (FR)
||Leon & Troy Corstens
||Chris & Michael Gangemi
||STREETS OF AVALON
||Leon & Troy Corstens
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
VRC Sprint Classic Form Guide
The VRC Sprint Classic form guide has all the basic information you need to know before placing your bets on the classic like the starting positions of all the runners, their jockeys and trainers. A good form guide on the VRC Sprint Classic also shows the lead-up form of the hopefuls, their win / place percentages and track / distance records so you can sort through who to back and who to sack on race day.
When doing the form on the VRC Sprint Classic race it is key to look for graduates out of the Manikato Stakes, proven Flemington performers and sprinters with previous Group 1 wins on their record.
VRC Sprint Classic Form Facts
- Favourites in Darley Classic betting had a poor record until Redzel (2017), Bivouac (2020) and Nature Strip (2021) all saluted for the punters in recent years
- The Manikato Stakes is the key Darley Classic form race to follow into the Flemington Group 1 with Buffering (2013) the last to do the double
- The Everest winner Redzel (2017) became the first horse to win the Darley Classic off a non-Melbourne lead-up since Takeover Target (2004);
- Santa Ana Lane (2018), Nature Strip (2019 and 2021) and Bivouac (2020) also franked Sydney’s The Everest form winning off a lead-up in the world’s richest turf race; Nature Strip also completed The Everest – Darley Classic double in 2021
- Swick (2008) and Nature Strip (2021) are the only seven-year-old Darley Classic winners from the past 30 years
2021 VRC Sprint Classic Form Guide
A link to the comprehensive VRC Sprint Classic 2021 Form Guide on all VRC Sprint Classic Horses will be available below the week of the race.
VRC Sprint Classic Results
The VRC Sprint Classic results show the exact finishing order of all the starters plus any horses scratched from the original field. Along with the VRC Sprint Classic winner, winning time and margin you can also see the starting price of all the horses once the results are out when the event runs as Flemington Race 5 on Mackinnon Stakes Day.
There have been plenty of upset VRC Sprint Classic results in recent years including Delectation ($13 in 2015) and Buffering ($11 in 2013).
Notable recent VRC Sprint Classic winners include the super speedy dual champion Nature Strip (2019, 2021), Santa Ana Lane (2018), subsequent two-time The Everest winner Redzel (2017), Terravista (2014) who also ran second in the 2017 edition three years later, Black Caviar (2010-11), Miss Andretti (2007) and Dance Hero (2006).
VRC Sprint Classic Winners
||In Her Time
||Santa Ana Lane
||In Her Time
||DH: Pierata, Jungle Cat
||Moment Of Change
||Mid Summer Music
||Barely A Moment
||Cape Of Good Hope
||Into The Night
||Tilt The Scales