Despite Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup dominating much of the attention in Australia at the moment, Victoria Derby Day is the event that really captures the imagination of the racing purists. With almost $5 million up for grabs, as well as a total for four group 1 races, you could not ask for a better weekend of action. The Lexus Stakes and Wakeful Stakes are just two of the most anticipated races at Flemington in Melbourne, however the Victoria Derby is undoubtedly the headline act, with a whole host of top-notch thoroughbreds in contention this year. The Victoria Derby is in fact six years older than the iconic Melbourne Cup, having first been ran in 1855, and is held over 2500m for three-year-olds. Despite action from Rosehill and Eagle Farm, among others, also providing opportunities for punters to back their favourites, we will be focusing on some of the best tips from events at Flemington this week.
THE CARBINE CLUB STAKES – 1600M – 11.45AM
In the opening race of the day, Hey Doc is dominating the attention in the build-up having only narrowly lost out in his last Grade 1 start. Despite being a notoriously slow starter, the Tony McEvoy trained four-year-old is certainly viewed as the one to beat in the Carbine Club Stakes. Elsewhere, Acatour is well placed to the mile for Peter and Paul Snowden, while despite having no luck in his last start, Morton’s Fork has been heavily backed over the last seven days, and should go close in this one. Finally, John O’Shea’s Bezel is best priced at 8/1 among the bookies, and having won three from three so far this season, and having won over the same distance in his last start, could well be in with a shout here.
Betting Tips for Carbine Club Stakes:
Outright – Hey Doc
Each Way – Bezel
MUMM WAKEFUL STAKES – 2000M – 12.20PM
There is nowhere else to start in the Mumm Wakeful Stakes, with Darren Weir trained Tiamo Grace seen as the overwhelming favourite among the majority of bookmakers. Despite having been badly held up last time around, she showed her credentials by running down Eleonoara to 1.25 lengths. The distance at Flemington seems like a perfect match, and with Weir considering her for the upcoming Oaks, he will be hoping for a solid performance. Meanwhile, despite being one of the better performed Victorian fillies throughout the Spring, Sebring Dream has yet to claim a win. Despite being a best priced 5/1, some of her best outings have come at Flemington, and could go well over 2000m. Should someone surprise this duo, it will almost certainly be Pretty Punk or Florida Keys who do so.
Betting Tips for Mumm Wakeful Stakes:
Outright – Tiamo Grace
Each Way – Sebring Dream
LEXUS STAKES – 2500M – 01.40PM
With the winner of the Lexus Stakes receiving an automatic entry into Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, and with eight previous winners going on to take out the big cup also, competition for places is certain to be high. Oceanographer, who currently sits 28th out of 24 in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup, is the favourite for this one having claimed an impressive third place finish in the recent Geelong Cup. Charlie Appleby will be hoping that odds of 2/1 are not too optimistic. Elsewhere, Tom Melbourne will be looking to finally live up to expectations on the big stage having let many down in the past, while De Little Engine finished ninth in the Caulfield Cup, and needs a win for a run on Tuesday. Finally, despite battling hard from an outside gate last time around, Real love should run well over 2500m given the conditions, and could push Oceanographer close.
Betting Tips for Lexus Stakes:
Outright – Oceanographer
Each Way – Tom Melbourne
VICTORIA DERBY – 2500M – 03.50PM
Following an impressive win in the Vase just last weekend, it is little surprise that Sacred Elixir has been inserted as the bookies favourites for the race of the day at Flemington. Rival trainers have conceded that it is the Tony Pike trained three-year-old’s race to lose, with a distance of 2500m doing little to suggest otherwise. With seemingly only bad luck beating Sacred Elixir, those looking to profit from any setbacks include Captain Duffy, Beach Life and So Si Bon. The trio are all in with a chance of claiming a place among the frontrunners.
Betting Tips for Victoria Derby:
Outright – Sacred Elixir
Each Way – Captain Duffy