Victoria Derby 2023 Race Details

Race 7 at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday the 4th November 2023.

The Victoria Derby is a Group 1 2500 metre race for three-year-olds run under set weight conditions. It is held by the Victoria Racing Club at Flemington in late October or early November on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup. The total prize money is $2,000,000 this year.

You can read more about the race history, lead-up races, and past winners on the Victoria Derby page.

How to pick a winner

Victoria Derby 2023 Preview

Track: Good Weather: Fine

There is a full field of sixteen runners for the $2,000,000 Victoria Derby.  Four back up from last weeks Moonee Valley Vase, six come via the Norman Robinson and two ran in the Geelong Classic.

The Chris Waller trained Riff Rocket is a dominant early favourite.  He blew them away here in the Super Impose two starts ago and has drawn a lovely gate with Australia’s premier rider James McDonald to do the steering.  Next in the betting is Apulia.  He was a good winner of the Moonee Valley Vase last week.  Verdad is talented and the only horse in the race that ran in the Caulfield Guineas while Gates has been backed at a price early.

Victoria Derby 2023 Runner by Runner

1. Apulia

Is on the quick back up for the second consecutive week.  Won the Vase in good style last week and has Mark Zahra who is airborne.

2. Verdad

Talented horse who has run well at all four career starts.  May have gone a little bit quick in the Vase last week. Suspect they look for cover here.  Think the class is there but can he stay?

3. Air Assualt

Was well backed last week in the Vase coming off a strong win in Adelaide and I thought he stuck on well for third after racing outside a warm tempo. Would not be surprised to see him run top three here.

4. Riff Rocket

Current even money favourite.  Absolutely bolted in here in fast time two starts ago like a very promising horse.  Then started deep odds on at Caulfield where he was a narrow second but had genuine excuses with a very slow pace.  Could explode coming back to Flemington.  He’s the one to beat.

5. Sunsets

Caused a big upset at Caulfield last start when kicking strongly to hold off Riff Rocket narrowly.  Will need a good ride from barrier 16 but has the right man in the saddle for it.  John Allen won this race in these colours on Hitotsu two years ago.

6. Make A Call

Is a fifteen start maiden.  Hard to see him winning here.

7. Gold Bullion

Started single figures in the Norman Robinson last start and didn’t fire.  Jury is out with him.

8. Gates

Was one of the better runs in the Norman Robinson beating home Apulia who is second favourite here.  Some hope.

9. Kosgei

Was third in the Geelong Classic.  That doesn’t look like the right form but does get Shinn.

10. Bulawayo

Beaten 6.5 lengths in the Vase last week.  Can’t recommend.

11. Sacred Eagle

Another through the Geelong Classic.  The blinkers go on but he doesn’t appear good enough.

12. Roguery

Bolted in in a Tatura maiden two back, then did a good job to beat the older horses in a 64 at Kilmore last start.  Wouldn’t shock if he did something at a big price.

13. Mercante

Was second in a 64 at Ballarat last start on his home track.  Looking elsewhere.

14. To Be Frank

Was never a factor in the Norman Robinson last start.  Hard to see him winning off that despite a strong trainer / jockey combo.

15. Warialda Warrior

Class 1 winner at Scone last time out.  This is a lot harder.

16. Tokyo Run

He started $70s in the Norman Robinson and was soundly beaten.

Victoria Derby 2023 Tips

The following are the top 4 selections for this years race.

Lewis Oliver’s Tips
Jo Jackson’s Tips
4 Riff Rocket 4 Riff Rocket
3 Air Assault 5 Sunsets
8 Gates 1 Apulia
1 Apulia 7 Gold Bullion

Previews for other races this week

Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes 2023 (Flemington 1200m)

Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes 2023 (Flemington 1600m)

Group 2 The Damien Oliver 2023 (Flemington 1400m)

Group 2 Wakeful Stakes 2023 (Flemington 2000m)

Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes 2023 (Flemington 1600m)

Group 3 Archer Stakes 2023 (Flemington 2500m)

Group 3 Furphy Sprint/Begonia Belle Stakes 2023 (Flemington 1100m)

Group 3 Rising Fast Stakes 2023 (Flemington 1200m)

The Golden Eagle 2023 (Rosehill 1500m)

Giga Kick Stakes 2023 (Rosehill 1300m)

Rosehill Gold Cup 2023 (Rosehill 2000m)

The Four Pillars 2023 (Rosehill 1500m)

Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes 2023 (Ascot 1400m)

Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes 2023 (Ascot 1000m)

Listed John Letts Cup 2023 (Morphettville 1800m)

Victoria Derby 2023 Race Results

Result Horse Margin
1st 4 Riff Rocket
2nd 1 Apulia 0.1 length
3rd 5 Sunsets 1.1 lengths
4th 9 Kosgei 3.35 lengths

The track was rated as Good 4.

There were no scratchings.