Darley Classic

Darley Classic
Date: Saturday November 10, 2018
Location: Flemington Racecourse
Prize Money: $1 Million
Distance: 1,200m

The VRC Sprint Classic, also known as the Darley Classic, is a group one thoroughbred race for horses three years and under. It operates under a weight for age restriction and is raced over a distance of 1200 meters at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne on the last day of the VRC Spring Carnival. Connections compete for a total prize pool of $1 million

The VRC Sprint Classic is seen as one of the major sprints on the Australian racing calender.

Over the years the VRC Sprint Classic has changed names more often than not. It started out in 1960 as the Craven “A” Stakes as a principal race. In 1979 it changed to the Pure-Pak Stakes and became a Group 1 race. After several other name changes in 2008 it became known as the Patinack Farm Classic before settling on the VRC Sprint Classic.

2018 Darley Classic result


1stSanta Ana Lane ($4)
2ndIn Her Time ($3.90)
3rdJungle Cat/Pierata ($3, $1.30)

2018 Darley Classic betting odds

Redzel is looking to go back-to-back in the VRC Sprint.

After recording back-to-back wins in The Everest Redzel will be hoping to repeat the dose in the Darley Classic.

The superstar sprinter is at $3.50 at all online bookmakers ahead of Pierata ($5) and Santa Ana Lane ($9).

There is no other runner currently in single figures.

Tips for betting on the VRC Sprint Classic

To make it into the VRC Sprint each horse has to have a proven track record of success during the year, so that makes research leading up to the race easy. As with any race, knowledge is key. Is your horses’ odds good value? Do they have a good history over the track and trip?

A good precursor race to take note of is the Group 2 Schweppes Stakes held on the same day as the Cox Plate each year. It is also a 1200m race. Another good race to take note of in the lead up to the VRC Sprint Classic is Group 2 Salinger Stakes which is held on Derby Day: it is also run over 1200m.

Most successful jockeys and trainers

Five jockeys have won the VRC Sprint Classic two times with Darren Gauci, Michael Clarke, Jimmy Cassidy, Greg Childs and Stephen King having all done it. Others to have won the race include Kerrin McEvoy, who also has two seconds and a third to his name, Danny Nikolic and Chris Munce.

Peter Moody and Bart Cummings sit atop the training ranks with three wins each in the feature, with Moody’s record of a second and two thirds from 15 starts one of the better ones in the race’s history.

Most successful horses in the VRC Sprint Stakes

Black Caviar has left a lasting legacy in the Darley Classic. (Racing Photos)

There have only been three horses to win the VRC Sprint Classic on more than one occasion including the most successful mare of all time, Black Caviar.

Trained by Peter Moody, the legendary Black Caviar won the Sprint Classic in 2010 and 2011. A little piece of trivia is that Black Caviar won her two VRC Classics with two different jockey’s: her usual jockey Luke Nolen (2011) and Ben Melham in 2010 while Nolen was serving a suspension. Black Caviar was trained by Peter Moody.

Before Black Caviar, Planet Ruler went back-to-back in 1989 and 1990. The first multiple winner of the VRC Sprint Classic was River Rough in 1983 and 1984.

Best bookies to bet on the VRC Sprint Classic

When betting on the VRC Sprint Classic, we like to trust our action with one of the following online bookies because they have a great reputation for safety, promotions and terrific odds on races.

Betfair Australia

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Recent VRC Sprint Classic runs

  • In what has become a common occurrence from Santa Ana Lane, the market slept on the gun sprinter heading into another Group 1. Last year’s winner Redzel firmed right in the market on the day of the race and travelled nicely but the race panned out beautifully for Santa, which burst to the front at the 50m and sustained a strong run to the line record a fourth Group 1 victory from a brave In Her Time.
  • Redzel confirmed itself as the best sprinter in Australia after winning the 2017 Darley Classic. Fresh off winning The Everest at Randwick, the quality winner of 11 from 21 starts went straight to the lead on the outside rail and was never headed in the run to the line. Terravista produced a big effort for second and Chautauqua ran well for fourth.
  • Peter Gelagotis scored his first win with Malaguerra in the Darley Classic after the horse changed stables during the winter. The five-year-old proved too strong for its rivals down the Flemington straight, winning at odds of $8.60 over the fast-finishing Spieth and Fell Swoop. Read full report.
  • Delecation ($14) caused a bit of a boil-over by beating field favorite, Chautauqua ($1.90), who notched up consecutive second placings, and 2014’s winner Terravista ($9.50). Delecation was ridden by jockey James McDonald and trained by Chris Waller.
  • Terravista ($10), ridden by Hugh Bowman and trained by Joe Pride, ploughed through a pack to defeat Chautauqua ($2.45) and Lankan Rupee ($5).
  • Buffering ($11), trained by Robert Heathcote and ridden by Hugh Bowman managed to beat the “Boom Brothers”, Temple of Boom ($41) ran second, followed closely by Spirit of Boom in third.

Previous VRC Sprint Classic winners

Darley Classic past winners
Year Darley Classic Past Winner
2018 Santa Ana Lane
2017 Redzel
2016 Malaguerra
2015 Delectation
2014 Terravista
2013 Buffering
2012 Mental
2011 Black Caviar
2010 Black Caviar
2009 All Silent
2008 Swick
2007 Miss Andretti
2006 Dance Hero
2005 Glamour Puss
2004 Takeover Target
2003 Ancient Song
2002 Rubitano
2001 Sudurka
2000 Easy Rocking
1999 Pharein
1998 Flavour
1997 Notoire
1996 Gold Ace
1995 Brawny Spirit
1994 Hareeba
1993 Alishan
1992 Unspoken Word
1991 Final Card
1990 Planet Ruler
1989 Planet Ruler
1988 Special
1987 Sky Filou
1986 Taj Quillo
1985 Lord Ballina
1984 River Rough
1983 River Rough
1982 Forgone Conclusion
1981 Zegna
1980 Watney
1979 Rooney
1978 Always Welcome
1977 Galway Bay
1976 Maybe Mahal
1975 Miss Lockleys
1974 Scamanda
1973 Century
1972 Beaches
1971 Welsh Prince
1970 Dual Choice
1969 Vain
1968 Snub
1967 Iga Ninja
1966 Marmion
1965 Picca
1964 Star Of Heaven
1963 Ripa
1962 Samson
1961 Bengal Tiger
1960 Karina