The first Queensland Derby was run in 1868 at Gayndah where it was won by Hermit. In 1969 a horse called Zambesi won the race ridden by a local boy called William Harris who was only ten years old. This makes him the youngest jockey in the history of Australian racing to win a race that now has Group 1 status. In 1970 the race was run twice – once at Gayndah and once in Brisbane – and the horse Grafton won both. In 1871 it was moved permanently to Brisbane.
The Queensland Derby has had Group 1 status since 1980. The race carries prizemoney of $600,000 and it is Set Weights over 1600m with a 2 kg allowance for fillies. It was conducted in November until 1972 and was moved from spring to the Winter Carnival in 1973. It was not run during the war years 1942-1945 as Eagle Farm was taken over by the army. In 2017 and 2018 it was switched to 2200m at Doomben because of issues with the track surface at Eagle Farm. In 2020 it was not held because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Fastest time (2400m): De Gaulle Lane (2001) 2:25:20
Previous winners of the Queensland Derby
The late Tommy Smith trained 12 winners of this race – Dorset Downs (1991), Our Planet (1982), Kingston Town (1980), Cheyne Walk (1976), Analie (1973), Silver Sharpe (1970), Dark Briar (1966), Bahram Star (1965), Travel Boy (1959), Tulloch (1957), Castillo (1963) and Forest Beau (1951). It is hard to imagine this record will ever be broken.
Jockeys who have won the Queensland Derby three times each are Jim Cassidy, Mick Dittman and George Moore.
** Race not run **
Vow And Declare
Pinstripe Lane (NZ)
Larrys Never Late
Lords A Leaping
King Of Them All
De Gaulle Lane
From the archives:
Queensland Derby Preview & Tips 2018
Track: Soft Weather: Showers
A full field of 16 plus 5 emergencies were nominated for the $600,000 2018 Channel 7 Queensland Derby, including one filly. Following the early scratching of Tangled, Chris Waller still has 5 runners and Darren Weir, Kris Lees and Hayes/Dabernig each have 2 runners. The market is fairly open with Dark Dreams who came 3rd in the Grand Prix Stakes narrowly ahead of Heavenly Thought who won that race.
Vying for third favouritism are Live And Free who has 3 wins and 2 places from 6 starts, and Lucky For All who has 3 wins from 5 starts. Youngstar is the only filly in the race and has won her last 4 starts, culminating in the Queensland Oaks. Han Xin was 2nd in the Grand Prix Stakes. All other runners are currently $20 or more, including Rezealient who has run 2nd at his last 3 starts, including the SA Derby.
The following are the top 4 selections from our tipster panel for this years race.