WATC Derby Race Information

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
  • Distance: 2400 metres
  • Conditions: Set weights, 3YO
  • Track: Ascot Racecourse, Perth, Western Australia
  • Prizemoney: $400,000
  • Date: Saturday 10 April 2021

WATC Derby Race History

See the 2021 WATC Derby Preview and Results.

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 Facts

Last filly to win; Tuscan Queen (2020)

Fastest time (2400m): Firing Range (Dec 1993) 2:27:8

WA Oaks & WATC Derby: Tuscan Queen (2020); Delicacy (2015); Dreamaway (2011); Honor Lap (2002); Old Money (2000); Beaux Art (1994).

Leading jockeys: William Pike with 10 wins (Western Empire 2021, Tuscan Queen 2020, Regal Power 2019, Action 2018, Arcadia Dream 2016, Delicacy 2015, Respondent 2014, Dreamaway 2011, Grand Journey 2008, Cats Fun 2006). Frank Moore rode 7 winners in the 1950s and 60s.

Leading trainers: Grant Williams (along with Alana from 2018) with 9 wins (Western Empire 2021, Tuscan Queen 2020, Regal Power 2019, Action 2018, Arcadia Dream 2016, Delicacy 2015, Respondent 2014, Mystic Prince 2013, Dreamaway 2011). Bart Cummings trained 4 winners.

Interesting trivia: 2018 winner Action and 2019 winner Regal Power  are full brothers by Pierro from Broadway Belle.

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.

Year Winner Second Third
2021 Western Empire Temptacion Kerman Rock
2020 Tuscan Queen Red Hot Tip Criminal Code
2019 Regal Power Cockney Crew Ping Me Another
2018 Action Like A Butterfly Media Baron
2017 Gatting Very Tempting Chill The Champers
2016 Arcadia Dream Who Dat Singa Culverin
2015 Delicacy Keysbrook Boom Time
2014 Respondent Ihtsahymn Real Love
2013 Mystic Prince Moreish Desert Glow
2012 Rohan Flashy Fella The Social Network
2011 Dreamaway Playing God Rio Dane
2010 Chartreux Bridgestone Brother Mak
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
2003 Shirazamatazz Conspirator Golden Prospect
2002 Honor Lap (NZ) Lord Mason Storm Fille
2001 NOT HELD
2000 Old Money Tingling Grand Turismo
1999 Voile D’Or Latest Ploy From The Hip
1998 Kim Angel Old Nick Matriculate
1997 Hot Jules Mystic Chantry Pennyweight Point
1996 Capricious Lass Strike Swiftly Stylish Mahal
1995 Crying Game Unpretentious Achtung Baby
1994 Beaux Art King Of Saxony Cloudy Bay
1993 Firing Range Native Pilgrim Vagabond Boy

From the archives:

WATC Derby Preview & Tips 2018

Track: Good    Weather: Fine

There is a full field of 16 runners plus two emergencies for the $400,000 Schweppes W.A.T.C. Derby, including 4 fillies. The favourite is Action who was unlucky when he ran 2nd in the Lex Piper Stakes then was blocked and had to angle out to run on strongly for 5th in the Melvista Stakes. Second favourite is Sentimental Friend who kept grinding to the line for 2nd in the Melvista. Third favourite is Money Maher who finished strongly at his past 2 starts to win the JC Roberts Stakes then the Melvista Stakes.

Tellem We’re Comin won 2 races in a row before 6th in the Melvista. Special Alert kept finding to win the WA Oaks over this distance last week. Like A Butterfly was 2nd in the WA Oaks while Media Baron was 4th in the Melvista.  Magical Charm and American Joy were 4th and 3rd respectively in the WA Oaks. All other runners are currently 20 to 1 or longer.

Jo’s Tips
1 Money Maher
2 Action
16 Magical Charm
4 Sentimental Friend