The VRC Sprint Classic is a difficult race to trace through history because it has changed from a handicap to weight-for-age and moved its position in the Spring Carnival as well as its name. It was first run as the Hallmark Stakes over 6 furlongs (about 1200 metres) in 1960 and was won by Karina. From 1961 to 1979 it was the Craven A Stakes then 1980 to 1985 it was the Pure Pak Stakes. From 1986 to 1993 it was the Gadsden Stakes, 1994 the Southcorp Packaging Stakes, then 1995 to 2006 the Salinger Stakes.
Originally run as a handicap on Derby Day, in 2007 the sprint was changed to weight-for-age and moved to Emirates Stakes Day where it was renamed the Patinack Farm Classic and was won by Miss Andretti. The name of Salinger Stakes was moved to a Group 2 1200 metre race still held on Derby Day. The Patinack Farm Classic is now called the VRC Sprint Classic or Darley Classic.
The VRC Sprint Classic is the premier weight-for-age sprint of the Melbourne spring carnival and since 2008 it has been a leg of the Global Sprint Challenge. The Global Sprint Challenge is a series of ten Group 1 sprints in Australia, England, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai which gives Australian horses recognition in international racing.