VRC Sprint Classic 2021

Saturday November 6, 2021

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 wins Darley Classic

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.

Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 336×312132 BELLA NIPOTINA M 4 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 106
2 30×1132 BRUCKNER C 3 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 99
3 5x60424x02 FLAT HEAVEN (FR) G 7 Bjorn Baker 82
4 2138×191 HOME AFFAIRS C 3 Chris Waller 110
5 818x2112x2 MALKOVICH H 4 Bjorn Baker 97
6 72x121x121 NATURE STRIP G 7 Chris Waller 120
7 5149x60x33 PRIME CANDIDATE G 7 Bjorn Baker 99
8 35x200x174 RANCH HAND C 3 Chris Waller 83
9 318x9838x4 RANTING (NZ) H 4 Leon & Troy Corstens 88
10 4925×13095 SAMIZDAT G 6 Chris & Michael Gangemi 97
11 x2048x3766 SEPTEMBER RUN M 4 Chris Waller 107
12 721610×579 SHAQUERO C 3 Chris Waller 88
13 x40168x414 SPLINTEX H 5 Mark Newnham 107
14 1167×28754 STREETS OF AVALON G 7 Shane Nichols 109
15 12x358x805 SWATS THAT M 4 Leon & Troy Corstens 101

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

Year Winner 2nd 3rd Time
2021 Nature Strip Swats That Bella Nipotina 1:08.7
2020 Bivouac Nature Strip Libertini 1:08.6
2019 Nature Strip Loving Gaby In Her Time 1:09.2
2018 Santa Ana Lane In Her Time DH: Pierata, Jungle Cat 1:08.6
2017 Redzel Terravista Impending 1:08.7
2016 Malaguerra Spieth Fell Swoop 1:10.2
2015 Delectation Chautauqua Terravista 1:10.0
2014 Terravista Chautauqua Lankan Rupee 1:08.7
2013 Buffering Shamexpress Moment Of Change 1:10.3
2012 Mental Sea Siren Hallowell Belle 1:09.0
2011 Black Caviar Buffering Mid Summer Music 1:08.3
2010 Black Caviar Star Witness Ortensia 1:07.9
2009 All Silent Wanted Bank Robber 1:08.7
2008 Swick Turffontein Sunburnt Land 1:11.0
2007 Miss Andretti Gold Edition Stanzout 1:08.9
2006 Dance Hero Shadoways Miss Andretti 1:08.6
2005 Glamour Puss Barely A Moment Cape Of Good Hope 1:08.9
2004 Takeover Target Recurring St Basil 1:08.2
2003 Ancient Song Into The Night Blessum 1:11.0
2002 Rubitano Intelligent Star Cosmic Strike 1:07.1
2001 Sudurka Hire Camena 1:08.4
2000 Easy Rocking Umrum Tilt The Scales 1:10.0