Derby Day – one for the racing and punting purists. It also marks the start of the four-day Flemington Spring Carnival which also includes next Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, Thursday’s Oaks meeting (Ladies Day) before concluding on Saturday November 11 with Stakes Day.
This year’s Derby Day program promises to be a cracker with it’s three Group 1 races as well as a win-and-your-in race for the Melbourne Cup called the Lexus Archer Stakes. The Flemington meeting in Melbourne will be accompanied by a terrific card at Sydney’s Rosehill Racecourse, who will be hosting the $10m Golden Eagle.
Overall, there is $22m prizemoney up for grabs in Melbourne and Sydney this Saturday.
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Kovalica draws barrier 16 for $10m race | 02:55
The headline race of the Flemington card is the time-honoured Victoria Derby, first run in 1855. It is a gruelling 2500m test for three-year-old horses. The 2023 edition isn’t the strongest Derby field assembled, but there looks to be an exciting prospect in the form of the favourite Riff Rocket, to be ridden by James McDonald. His win in the Super Impose Stakes at this track on October 7 was the performance of a very good horse. He was beaten as a very short favourite last time out by Sunsets, but back onto Flemington will suit the Chris Waller-trained gelding.
THE GOAT DOES THE DOUBLE TO SECURE MELBOURNE CUP SPOT
‘The GOAT’ Damien Oliver made it an early double on his final Derby Day, booting home Queen Of The Ball for trainer Michael Freedman in the G3 Furphy Sprint (1100m).
It was a throwback to yesteryear with Ollie riding for Michael’s brother Lee with great success in the 1990s, and decades later, the hoop was still combining with the famous family in Cup week. Jamie Kah had to settle for 2nd when emerging aboard the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Hypothetical, as the Freedmans quinella’d the race between them.
It comes after the retiring Oliver led all the way aboard Kalapour in the G3 Lexus Archer Stakes (2500m) to book the Kris Lees-trained galloper’s ticket into Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.
“It is great to get one under the belt early, it is great for the confidence,” Oliver said.
“This horse has been running really consistently all season and it is great that he can win a nice race today.
“I’m not sure what the plan is with him but he’s had a pretty easy run today if they wanted to go there (Melbourne Cup).
“The horse is in great condition, he’s a really healthy animal and he’s just a gentleman of a horse.”
JAMIE KAH CHECKS IN TO CUP WEEK WITH A WINNER
Jamie Kah produced a perfectly-timed ride to salute aboard Spacewalk in the Rising Fast Stakes. The Griffiths/De Kock-trained Najeem Suhail had gone out like a rocket and still had a sizeable lead inside the final 300m, only for the Godolphin galloper to swoop as the peloton swallowed up the leader. It was a cracking finish as about 1L split the first seven horses across the line.
CLARK AND GAI-DRIAN DO IT FROM THE FRONT AGAIN
They are renowned from winning races from the front, and the combo of Tim Clark and Waterhouse/Bott have done it again on Derby Day with the Wakeful win of Amazonian Lass ($10). The combo have got a double at Flemington after the Carbine Club win of Kaizad ($11). Hot Wakeful fav Zardozi ($2.10) was steaming home late but too late, in a tasty prelude to Thursday’s VRC Oaks.
OZZMOSIS DOMINATES IN G1 COOLMORE UPSET
The more fancied colts were humbled as Ozzmosis – a Zoustar colt – dominated the Coolmore Stud Stakes for jockey Rachel King and trainer Bjorn Baker. Filling the minor placings were I Am Unstoppable and Golden Slipper winner Shinzo, with Cylinder a beaten horse a long way from home
SCHEDULE + RESULTS (Times in AEDT)
Race 1 @ 12:20PM — G3 Network 10 Carbine Club Stakes
WINNER: Kaizad, 2nd: Heman, 3rd: Brave Mead
Race 2 @ 1:00PM — G3 Lexus Archer Stakes
WINNER: Kalapour, 2nd: Athabascan, 3rd: Gan Teorainn
Race 3 @ 1:40PM — G3 Furphy Sprint
WINNER: Queen Of The Ball, 2nd: Hypothetical, 3rd: Dancing Alone
Race 4 @ 2:20PM — G3 Racing and Sports Rising Fast Stakes
WINNER: Spacewalk, 2nd: Crosshaven, 3rd: Najem Suhail
Race 5 @ 3:00PM — G2 TAB Wakeful Stakes
WINNER: Amazonian Lass, 2nd: Zardozi, 3rd: Harlow Mist
Race 6 @ 3:40PM — G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes
WINNER: Ozzmosis, 2nd: I Am Unstoppable, 3rd: Shinzo
Race 7 @ 4:20PM — G1 Penfolds Victoria Derby
WINNER: Riff Rocket, 2nd: Apulia, 3rd: Sunsets
Race 8 @ 5:00PM — G1 TAB Empire Rose Stakes
Race 9 @ 5:40PM — G2 The Damien Oliver
Flemington Race 7 – Group 1 Penfolds Victoria Derby – 2500 metres @ 4:20pm (AEDT)
Horse Number – Horse – Trainer – Jockey – Barrier – Weight
1. APULIA – Ben, Will & JD Hayes – Mark Zahra – 3 – 57kg
2. VERDAD – Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock – Jye McNeil – 4 – 57kg
3. AIR ASSAULT – Andrew Gluyas – Ben Allen – 6 – 57kg
4. RIFF ROCKET – Chris Waller – James McDonald – 5 – 57kg
5. SUNSETS – Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young – John Allen – 16 – 57kg
6. MAKE A CALL – Peter & Paul Snowden – Jamie Kah – 15 – 57kg
7. GOLD BULLION – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott – Opie Bosson – 13 – 57kg
8. GATES – Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman – Luke Nolen – 14 – 57kg
9. KOSGEI – Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young – Blake Shinn – 12 – 57kg
10. BULAWAYO – Pat Carey & Harris Walker – Celine Gaudray (a) – 7 – 57kg
11. SACRED EAGLE – Symon Wilde – Jordan Childs – 2 – 57kg
12. ROGUERY – Lloyd Kennewell & Lucy Yeomans – Billy Egan – 1 – 57kg
13. MERCANTE – Nigel Blackiston – Damien Oliver – 11 – 57kg
14. TO BE FRANK – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace – Jamie Spencer – 10 – 57kg
15. WARIALDA WARRIOR – John Ramsey – Darryl McLellan – 9 – 57kg
16. TOKYO RUN – Dean Mirfin – TBA – 8 – 57kg
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