The WATC Derby is a 2400 metre race for three-year-olds at set weights run by the Western Australia Turf Club. The race is held at Ascot racecourse during the Perth Autumn Carnival in April.
- Race Type: Group 2, 3YO Set Weights
- Distance: 2,400 metres
- Track: Ascot Racecourse, Perth, Western Australia
- Date: Saturday 8 April 2017
The WATC Derby is Perth’s leading staying race for three-year-olds. It was first held as a 12 furlong principal race in 1888 when it was won by Harridan, and it became a Group 1 race in 1979. In 2011 it was worth $500,000 and after that running it was downgraded to a Group 2 race so that the Winterbottom Stakes could become a Group 1. This meant that Perth maintained three Group 1 races each year. The WATC Derby is the major race held in Perth in the autumn.
In recent years the Melvista Stakes over 2200 metre has been the main lead-up race for the WATC Derby and it is not uncommon for horses to win the Melvista Stakes – WATC Derby double. Fillies often use the Group 3 WA Oaks over 2400 metres as their lead-up. The WATC Derby weights are 56.5 kg for colts and geldings and 54.5 kg for fillies.
Because the WATC Derby coincides with the end of the Sydney Autumn Carnival it attracts the best local three-year-olds but few interstate raiders. Some interstate horses will make the trip in search of a Group level victory such as Chartreaux (2010) who won a 2500 metre race at Flemington before winning the WATC Derby and travelled from Victoria. Because of this the WATC Derby tends to be won by above average horses rather than true elite types, which is the major reason it lost Group 1 status.
WATC Derby Final Field & Odds 2017
See below for early betting markets on this years WATC Derby.‘Odds not currently available’
WATC Derby Preview & Tips 2017
Track: Good Weather: Fine
There are 16 runners for the $400,000 Schweppes W.A.T.C. Derby, including 4 fillies. The short-priced favourite is filly Royal Star who won the Natasha Stakes before a close 2nd in the WA Oaks. Second favourite is WA Oaks winner Very Tempting who has drawn very wide. Third favourite is Gatting who finished strongly to win the Melville Stakes over 2200m last start.
Final Salute was a close 2nd in the Melvista after a fighting win at his previous start. Rock With You won a maiden plate in country Victoria by 13 lengths and would not have travelled to Perth if he wasn’t a serious hope. Taxagano ran on from well back for 3rd in the Melvista, but has drawn the outside barrier. At The Ready was 4th in the Melvista, and Just Like Fire was 3rd in the WA Oaks. All other runners are currently 50 to 1 or longer.
|14 Royal Star|
|13 Very Tempting|
|2 Final Salute|
Previous winners of the WATC Derby:
Winners may go on to win the Group 2 Perth Cup over 3200 metres in later years. 2006 WATC Derby winner Cats Fun won the Perth Cup in 2008, and Guyno (2007) won the Perth Cup in 2009.
|2017||Gatting||Very Tempting||Chill The Champers|
|2016||Arcadia Dream||Who Dat Singa||Culverin|
|2013||Mystic Prince||Moreish||Desert Glow|
|2012||Rohan||Flashy Fella||The Social Network|
|2011||Dreamaway||Playing God||Rio Dane|
|2009||Markus Maximus||Berlioz (NZ)||Phenomenons|
|2008||Grand Journey||Yuro||Grand Encounter|
|2007||Guyno||Ballack (NZ)||Original Lovalover|
|2006||Cats Fun||Raise A Call||Scenic Shot|
|2005||Plastered||Royal Drive||Master Minx|
|2004||Mr Sandgroper||Fatal Attraction||Crown Prosecutor|
|2002||Honor Lap (NZ)||Lord Mason||Storm Fille|
|2000||Old Money||Tingling||Grand Turismo|