Hong Kong Derby

Hong Kong Derby

Group One Betting Guide
Date: March 20, 2022
Location: Sha Tin Racecourse, Hong Kong
Distance: 2000m
Prize Money: HK$24,000,000

The Hong Kong Derby is the third and final leg of the Hong Kong Four-Year-Old Classic Series, following the Hong Kong Classic Mile and Hong Kong Classic Cup.

Held in mid-March every year, the 2000m staying event is the premier race of the Hong Kong domestic racing programme.

The first Hong Kong Derby was open for all ages and was first held at Happy Valley in 1873, but the race has been restricted to four-year-olds since 1981.

In 1979 the race was permanently transferred to Sha Tin, where it has grown to become one of Asia’s most prestigious thoroughbred events outside of the Hong Kong International Races (HKIR).

Only two horses have completed the Classic Series whitewash, with Rapper Dragon (2017) and Golden Sixty (2020) the only two to be Triple Crown winners.


2022 Hong Kong Derby odds

Markets for the 2022 Hong Kong Derby are currently unavailable. HorseBetting.com.au will update this page as soon as they are released.


Best bookmakers for Hong Kong Derby

All of HorseBetting’s recommended online bookmakers run markets for the Hong Kong Derby each year, including all-in and futures options. Check out the licensed betting sites below to find the best odds for the 2022 Hong Kong Derby.

United States Sport Table

Sport Table


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Hong Kong Derby history

As a set-weights contest, class rises to the top in the HK Derby. Some 12 of the last 22 favourites have won the race, while only two horses – Vital King ($11) and Sky Darci ($12) – have saluted at double-figure odds in that time.

Since 2000, when Keen Winner saluted from the inside lane, barrier one has not produced a single victor in the Hong Kong Derby.

Since the race became a 2000m staying event at Sha Tin, Golden Sixty holds the race record, with the superstar claiming the title in a time of 2:00.15.

Since 2000, only one filly has won the race: Elegant Fashion in 2003.

John Moore has managed to train the winner in the Hong Kong Derby on six seperate occasions, coming out on top in 1995, 2006, 2009, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Jockey-turned-trainer Tony Cruz has ridden the most winners in the HK Derby with four victories (1983, 1987, 1988, 1995). Cruz has also trained two winners in the race, with Lucky Owners (2004) and Helene Mascot (2008) saluting for the legendary horseman.


2021 Hong Kong Derby result


1stSky Darci ($12)
2ndRussian Emperor ($3.40)
3rdPanfield ($13)

Previous Hong Kong Derby runnings

  • Having finished sixth and seventh respectively in the Hong Kong Classic Mile and Hong Kong Classic Cup, Sky Darci surprised many a punter when taking out the Hong Kong Derby. The Darci Brahma gelding was plucked from New Zealand as a PPG (Privately Purchased Griffin), joining the Fownes stable as a raw, unraced gelding in 2019. Less than two years later, he is part of Hong Kong racing folklore. In the end, only a head separated Sky Darci and a charging Russian Emperor – the son of super-sire Galileo and champion Australian mare Atlantic Jewel – as Panfield, a triple Group 1 winner in Chile, closed menacingly. Sky Darci’s win handed star trainer Casper Fownes his second win in the HK Derby.
  • Golden Sixty became just the second horse to win all three legs of the four-year-old Classic Series, with the Francis Lui-trained runner arriving just in time in the Hong Kong Derby. Having been sent around as a $1.70 market elect, it was all but a forgone conclusion that he would walk away with the whitewash in convincing circumstances. However rank outsider Playa Del Puente made a race of it when making his run home at the 800m from the rear of the field and thus leaving Golden Sixty in a tricky position in the second-half of the field on the back of a muddling tempo. Needing to make up plenty of ground in the home straight, a final 400m split of 21.83s ensured Golden Sixty would fight out the finish and got the job done in enthralling circumstances.
  • Furore added a Hong Kong Derby to his resume following a win in the first leg of the four-year-old Classic Series, the Hong Kong Classic Mile following a peach of a ride from Hugh Bowman. The visiting Bowman brought up a second win in the race having won the event aboard Werther in 2016. Despite drawing wide in barrier 12, Bowman was able to find cover for Furore three pairs back and from that point, he was always going to be hard to beat. Furore quickened nicely under Bowman in the home straight and managed to hold out the fast-finishing Waikuku, with Furore turning the table on his rival who claimed the Hong Kong Classic Cup when they last met.
  • A stunning last-to-first run saw the John Size-trained Ping Hai Star land the 2018 Hong Kong Derby and in the process handed champion hoop Ryan Moore his first win in the race. After anchoring at the tail of the 14-runner field, 11 lengths astern of the pace-setting The Golden Age, Ping Hai Star blitzed through the final 800m. Ping Hai Star went into the third and final leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series as an intriguing untapped talent. While his main rivals battled for honours in the first two legs, Size masterminded an assault on the series finale with three consecutive handicap wins at 1400m. No Derby winner before had headed into the race without a win at a distance of a mile or more.
  • Having claimed the Hong Kong Classic Mile and Hong Kong Classic Cup, Rapper dragon became the first runner to complete the four-year-old Classic Series whitewash when claiming the Hong Kong Derby. The win handed champion jockey Joao Moreira his first win in the race and also found his name in the history books having partnered the John Moore-trained runner to all three wins in the series. The son of Street Boss gave trainer John Moore his sixth Hong Kong Derby win and made it consecutive wins in the race for Moore having claimed the 2015 version with Werther.

Previous Hong Kong Derby winners (2001-now)

Hong Kong DerbyPast Winners
Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2021 Sky Darci Joao Moreira Casper Fownes
2020 Golden Sixty Vincent Ho Francis Lui
2019 Furore Hugh Bowman Frankie Lor
2018 Ping Hai Star Ryan Moore John Size
2017 Rapper Dragon Joao Moreira John Moore
2016 Werther Hugh Bowman John Moore
2015 Luger Zac Purton John Size
2014 Designs On Rome Tommy Berry John Moore
2013 Akeed Mofeed Douglas Whyte Richard Gibson
2012 Fay Fay Douglas Whyte John Size
2011 Ambitious Dragon Maxime Guyon Anthony Millard
2010 Super Satin Douglas Whyte Casper Fownes
2009 Collection Darren Beadman John Moore
2008 Helene Mascot Felix Coetzee Tony Cruz
2007 Izzat Brett Prebble Paul O’Sullivan
2006 Viva Pataca Christophe Soumillon John Moore
2005 Vengeance Of Rain Anthony Delpech David Ferraris
2004 Lucky Owners Felix Coetzee Tony Cruz
2003 Elegant Fashion Gerald Mosse David Hayes
2002 Olympic Express Weichong Marwing Ivan Allan
2001 Industrial Pioneer Gerald Mosse Brian Kan Ping-Chee
2000 Keen Winner Robbie Fradd Anthony Millard

Hong Kong Derby past winners (pre-2000)

Hong Kong Derby Past Winners Pre 2000
Year Horse
1999 Holy Grail
1998 Johan Cruyff
1997 Oriental Express
1996 Che Sara Sara
1995 Makarpura Star
1994 Super Fit
1993 Helene Star
1992 Sound Print
1991 River Verdon
1990 Reliable Source
1989 William’s Coach
1988 Clear City
1987 Tea For Two II
1986 Yuno When
1985 Superior Gold
1984 Baby Tiger
1983 Co-Tack
1982 Football
1981 Flash Of Gold

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