G1 Victoria Derby: what you need to know

G1 Victoria Derby: what you need to know

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VICTORIA DERBY

The $2 million race for three-year-olds (2500m) at Melbourne's Flemington racecourse is one of the oldest in the world

HISTORY

* First run in 1855 when won by Rose Of May, the Victoria Derby pre-dates the Melbourne Cup by six years

* Its prize money has been increased $500,000 from 2017

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Manfred (1925), Phar Lap (1929), Skipton (1941), Comic Court (1948), Delta (1949), Tulloch (1957), Sky High (1960), Tobin Bronze (1965), Dulcify (1978), Mahogany (1993), Elvstroem (2003), Efficient (2006), Preferment (2014)

TALKING POINTS

* James Scobie holds the training record with eight winners

* The late Bart Cummings and the late TJ Smith share modern-day training honours with five winners each

* Gai Waterhouse, daughter of TJ Smith, became the first woman to train a Victoria Derby winner when Nothin' Leica Dane, part-owned by her father, won in 1995

* Legendary jockey Bobby Lewis holds the most Victoria Derby wins with eight

* Tulloch was the shortest-priced favourite at 1-10 when he won in 1957

* Martini-Henri won the 1883 Victoria Derby on his first race before clinching the Melbourne Cup on his second

* James Cummings became a fourth generation trainer to win a Victoria Derby with Prized Icon's 2016 victory

THE DISTANCE:

* The 2500m is a query for every runner as the Victoria Derby and offers the first chance for three-year-olds to be tested at the distance

MAIDENS:

* Fire Oak (1990) became the first maiden since Martini-Henri to win. Two years later Redding repeated the feat

* In 2014 Preferment also broke his maiden in the Derby. There are no maidens in this year's race

THE FAVOURITE

* If stable history is anything to go by, Thinkin' Big will be hard to beat. His co-trainer Gai Waterhouse won the race with his maternal grandsire Nothin' Leica Dane.

GODOLPHIN

* The race has been a source of frustration for Godolphin. Since 2010, the world's most identifiable racing operation has had six placegetters. Sheikh Mohammed's team will rely on second favourite Aramayo, to be ridden by last year's winning jockey Tye Angland

* James Cummings won the race as a public trainer in 2016 and he came close again last year for Godolphin when Astoria finished third

WHAT THE MAIN PLAYERS ARE SAYING:

"He's spot on ... We've been happy with him all along. He's a class horse going into a class race and he won't disappoint the punters" - Gai Waterhouse on Thinkin' Big

"I don't think there will be any more fitness to squeeze out of Aramayo in the lead-up to the weekend and getting back on the big track you can't help but feel he's going to be better suited, James Cummings on Aramayo

"He's a grinding type of stayer, not a classy type of stayer ... but that's what suits a Derby sometimes. If there's a chink in the other's armours, I know he'll get the trip" - John Sargent on Home Ground

"He is lightly raced, but he's big and strong and looks like he will stay a good mile-and-a-half" - James McDonald on Chapada

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