Victoria Derby 2023

Ladbrokes Tip: The Moonee Valley Vase is a top guide to the VRC Derby winners

The Victoria Derby is the feature race for young staying types each spring and is the opening Group 1 feature of the Melbourne Cup Carnival following the events of the Group 1 Cox Plate Carnival at Moonee Valley in late October.

2022 Victoria Derby winner Manzoice

2022 Victoria Derby winner Manzoice. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Held over four days in late October and or early November every year, the carnival kicks off on the Saturday before the first Tuesday of November’s Melbourne Cup with the three-year-olds stealing the show in the VRC Derby.

Run over 2500m the Victoria Derby is a classic set weights race now worth $2 million in prize money and was first run in 1855. It has held Group 1 status since 1979 and Gai Waterhouse was the first woman trainer to prepare a winner of the race in 1995 with Nothin’ Leica Dane.

Notable Victoria Derby winners include Efficient (2006), Elvstroem (2003) and Red Anchor (1984).

Victoria Derby Day features a total of three Group 1 spring races with the three-years-old staying feature accompanied on the Flemington race card by the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) for the short distance sprinters of the same age and the Empire Rose Stakes (formerly the Myer Classic) also run over a mile.  It is known as a day for racing purists as all the events on the program hold Group status.

Derby Day in Melbourne now has some serious competition across the border with the addition of a number of lucrative feature races in Sydney on the same date. From 2019 on, Rosehill Gardens has hosted the now $10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) for four-year-olds and the $3 million Winners Stakes (1300m), which is renamed in honour of the previous year’s The Everest champion each season, on the same day as the VRC Derby program in Melbourne.

This season the 2023 Victoria Derby ran on Saturday November 4, 2023 on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington and was won narrowly by the Chris Waller-trained favourite Riff Rocket ($2.20F).

2023 Victoria Derby Results

The 2023 Victoria Derby Results will be published as soon as the race runs on Saturday November 4, 2023.

2023 Victoria Derby winner Riff Rocket

2023 Victoria Derby winner Riff Rocket just held on to salute for the punters. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #4 Riff Rocket
  • 2nd: #1 Apulia
  • 3rd: #5 Sunsets

Chris Waller’s progressive young stayer Riff Rocket ($2.20F) was brave off a gun ride by jockey James McDonald holding off a late challenge by the flying Apulia to salute for the favourite backers in the Victoria Derby 2023 results.

2023 Victoria Derby Odds

The spring’s latest Victoria Derby 2023 betting odds and Melbourne Cup Carnival Group 1 market links to the staying classic will be provided below so stay tuned for access to the top odds on the VRC Derby horses.

Early market betting odds on the 2024 Victoria Derby will be displayed below once available. Odds are subject to fluctuation. For current odds on all of our live markets, please visit

Victoria Derby Race Info

  • Date: Saturday November 4, 2023
  • Track: Flemington Racecourse
  • Distance: 2500m
  • Conditions: 3YOs – Set Weights
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $2 million
  • First Run: 1855

Victoria Derby Betting

Victoria Derby betting markets on possible runners are open months in advance with juicy futures prices on offer at many bookmakers under all-in conditions. Once the VRC Derby field is released the week of the race those markets are slashed and the action heats up with punters looking for the value bet.

Favourites have a fair record in the Victoria Derby with Tarzino (2015), Ace High (2017), Hitotsu ($4 in 2021) and Riff Rocket ($2.20 in 2023) the latest top fancies in VRC Odds to win since Efficient (2006).

Since then there’s been plenty of upsets including Rebel Raider who won at 100/1 in 2008 and Fiveandahalfstar who caused a boil over in 2012 at 40/1. There was also a bit of value in VRC Derby betting on the 2018 champion Extra Brut who jumped at $14 odds, while Johnny Get Angry saluted at 20/1 in 2020.

In 2022 Manzoice scored another upset saluting at Victoria Derby odds of $21.

Victoria Derby Field

The Victoria Derby race field is released by Racing Victoria on the Wednesday before the race runs on the Saturday meeting before Melbourne Cup Day the following Tuesday and has a capacity starting line-up of 16 three-year-olds plus four emergencies.

Horses may come into the Victoria Derby field via a lead-up run in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day, which produced back-to-back winners in 2015 and 2016. Efficient (2006) was the last three-year-old to complete the Moonee Valley Vase – VRC Derby double.

In 2023 the Moonee Valley Vase winner Apulia was so brave on the double back-up narrowly denied with a fast-finishing second to the favourite Riff Rocket.

The upset 2020 VRC Derby winner Johnny Get Angry also came out of the Moonee Valley Vase having run third in the lead-up.

Another key lead-up races gallopers might contest ahead of the VRC Derby field is Sydney’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), a double most recently completed by Ace High (2017). Manzoice (8th in 2022) was the last Spring Champion Stakes graduate to back-up and win the Victoria Derby in Melbourne.

One of the very early potential lead-up races into the VRC Derby field is the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) run at Rosehill in late August and the ill-fated Lion Tamer (2010) was the last to do the double. A little later at Rosehill on Golden Rose Stakes Day, early VRC Derby types may contest the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) and Ace High (2017) was the last to complete the Gloaming – Derby double.

Another traditional lead-up into the VRC Derby field is the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) run on Caulfield Cup Day and Polanski (2013) was the last to do the double.

In 2023 Riff Rocket improved on a second in the Caulfield Classic to win the Derby while his last start conqueror Sunsets finished third in the Group 1.

2023 Victoria Derby Field

The official VRC Derby 2023 Final Field & Barriers are set for release the week of the race and will be provided in full below so stay tuned to see what gun three-year-old stayers make the line-up.

The Victoria Derby 2023 final field is now out with a capacity line-up of three-year-olds including Moonee Valley Vase winner Apulia in gate three and Chris Waller’s race favourite Riff Rocket to jump from barrier five with James McDonald aboard.

Victoria Derby 2023 Nominations

VRC Derby 2023 Nominations are taken the Monday of race week and will be available right here as soon as early entries on the Group 1 race are announced.

The 2023 Victoria Derby nominations attracted 23 three-year-old stayers led in all-in betting by the in-form Chris Waller-trained Riff Rocket and Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase winning Fiorente colt Apulia for the Hayes’ stable.

Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 x6551x4413 AIR ASSAULT G 3 Andrew Gluyas 74
2 242×12841 APULIA C 3 Ben, Will & JD Hayes 88
3 3530 BLOOMING EDGE G 3 Trevor J Andrews 60
4 01054 BULAWAYO C 3 Pat Carey & Harris Walker 63
5 7x335x9732 CAP FERRAT C 3 Chris Waller 85
6 1786×41183 GANBARE C 3 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 88
7 78×13 GATES C 3 Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman 70
8 23116 GOLD BULLION (NZ) G 3 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 70
9 040x GOLDEN ARTIFACT C 3 Trevor J Andrews 55
10 1203 KOSGEI G 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 64
11 2569×80772 MAKE A CALL C 3 Peter & Paul Snowden 64
12 533310 MEDATSU (NZ) G 3 Chris Waller 64
13 9612 MERCANTE G 3 Nigel Blackiston 63
14 17×1212 RIFF ROCKET G 3 Chris Waller 80
15 7×4311 ROGUERY G 3 Lloyd Kennewell & Lucy Yeomans 66
16 3×4214 SACRED EAGLE C 3 Symon Wilde 63
17 7×464104 STEEL BLAZE C 3 Brett Lazzarini 61
18 4×5251241 SUNSETS C 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 80
19 0x44314525 SUNSOURCE C 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 73
20 417 TO BE FRANK (NZ) C 3 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 63
21 5×32525 TOKYO RUN (NZ) G 3 Dean Mirfin 59
22 1262 VERDAD G 3 Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock 76
23 24431 WARIALDA WARRIOR G 3 John Ramsey 60

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

Victoria Derby TipsVictoria Derby Tips 2023

Victory Derby tips on which three-year-old to back in the classic are notoriously hard to follow with so many upsets in the race over the years. When sorting through the pre-race predictions one thing that statistically is important to look for horses coming off a lead-up race over at least 2000m.

Graduates out of Melbourne lead-up races make the best VRC Derby betting tips, while laying the favourite has also proved profitable more often than not looking back at the recent Victoria Derby results.

2023 Victoria Derby Tips

Our Ladbrokes’ insider Victoria Derby 2023 betting tips and Group 1 Flemington exotic selections on the classic will be detailed below the week of the race so stay tuned for the three-year-old colts & geldings to get behind at the right price this spring.

  • To Win: #1 Apulia ($4.20 at time of publish) – BET NOW

Happy to stick with the Vase winner who was so good at The Valley winning over the 2040m by two lengths. The Team Hayes-trained colt is well-bred being a son of a former Melbourne Cup winner (Fiorente) so think the step-up in distance to 2500m is a non-issue. Draws a treat in barrier three for the grand final and Mark Zahra, gearing up for his Melbourne Cup ride aboard Without A Fight on Tuesday, continues associations. Right form, right hoop, good draw, bred to win.

Victoria Derby Form Guide

A good Victoria Derby form guide doesn’t only list the horses, trainers, jockeys and barriers but also their lead-up form and any past runs at the track / distance. That information can be helpful when narrowing down who to back and who to sack.

The Victoria Derby barriers are important to consider with wide barriers producing few winners since 2008 and the inside alley producing two winners during that time with both Monaco Consul (2009) and Polanski (2013) jumping from gate one.

The 2021 Victoria Derby form was franked with the winner Hitotsu returning the following autumn to complete the interstate Group 1 Australian Guineas – Australian Derby double in 2022. The 2021 VRC Derby runner-up Alegron also ran third in the Australian Derby results the following year and placed fourth in the 2022 SA Derby that season.

The 2022 VRC Derby runner-up Sharp ‘N’ Smart franked the form when heading across the Tasman the next year to win two Group 1 races including the NZ Derby before returning for a fourth in the Australian Derby in 2023.

Phar Lap won the victoria derby odds finishing order

Phar Lap was another champion that has won both the Victoria Derby (1929) and Melbourne Cup (1930).

Victoria Derby Form Facts

  • The Moonee Valley Vase is the key VRC Derby form race to follow with Efficient (2006) the last to do the double.
  • Favourites in Victoria Derby betting have a fair recent record with Tarzino (2015) the first to salute since Efficient (2006) followed by Ace High (2017), Hitotsu (2021) and most recently Riff Rocket (2023).
  • Wide Victoria Derby barriers have produced only a few winners since 2008.
  • Upset Victoria Derby results are common so look for value further down the odds on well-bred horses likely to run out the 2500m.
  • Jockey Damien Oliver has ridden six VRC Derby winners (since 1983) most recently on Warning (2019).

2023 Victoria Derby Form Guide

A link to our comprehensive VRC Derby 2023 Form Guide will be provided for punters below the week of the race.

Victoria Derby Results & History

The Victoria Derby race results including the winner, the trifecta with the first three over the line, winning margins and the complete finishing order of all the starters are out after the classic jumps at Flemington, the same course the iconic Melbourne Cup run three days later, on the first Saturday of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Arguably Australia’s greatest ever champion Phar Lap, won the the Victoria Derby in 1929 before winning the Melbourne Cup the following year. Winners of the VRC Derby dating back to the year 2000 can also be seen below.

Star Of The Real holds the current Victoria Derby race record winning in 1991 in a time of 2 minutes 33.60 seconds.

Frances Tressady (1923) is the latest Victoria Derby winning filly.

Past Victoria Derby Winners

Recent Victoria Derby winners and place-getters dating back to the year 2000 are detailed in the below table.

Year Winner 2nd 3rd Time
2023 Riff Rocket Apulia Sunsets 2:37.38
2022 Manzoice Sharp ‘N’ Smart Aberfeldie Boy 2:40.8
2021 Hitotsu Alegron Teewaters 2:37.3
2020 Johnny Get Angry Hit The Shot Young Werther 2:41.9
2019 Warning Southern Moon Soul Patch 2:40.8
2018 Extra Brut Stars Of Carrum Chapada 2:34.3
2017 Ace High Sully Astoria 2:37.5
2016 Prized Icon Sacred Elixir Inference 2:36.1
2015 Tarzino Etymology Kia Ora Koutou 2:38.3
2014 Preferment Bondeiger Nozomi 2:37.8
2013 Polanski Complacent Thunder Fantasy 2:38.6
2012 Fiveandahalfstar Super Cool Rawnaq 2:35.9
2011 Sangster Induna Sabrage 2:40.3
2010 Lion Tamer Praecido Retrieve 2:46.4
2009 Monaco Consul Extra Zero Viking Legend 2:41.6
2008 Rebel Raider Whobegotyou Pre Eminence 2:36.9
2007 Kibbutz Littorio Marching 2:40.9
2006 Efficient Gorky Park Teranaba 2:38.3
2005 Benicio Duelled Headturner 2:37.0
2004 Plastered Savabeel Count Ricardo 2:35.4
2003 Elvstroem Kempinsky Our Bahare 2:38.9
2002 Helenus Hydrometer Aint There 2:40.5
2001 Amalfi Zarek Pentastic 2:34.6
2000 Hit The Roof Universal Prince Falls The Shadow 2:39.0