Winning Victoria Derby and Melbourne Cup done Only Once

Ace High won the 2017 Victoria Derby (Group 1 2500 m) at Flemington Saturday past.

The race is the top staying event for three-year-olds and many of those horses develop into top stayers, but through our research, we learned that only one horse has won the Victoria Derby and the Melbourne Cup in the same year.

Not surprisingly, we had to go back to 1906 to find the name of Poseidon. Those were days when horses were raced with much higher frequency than are today’s pampered gallopers. We looked into the annals to learn if the racing calendar had been different in 1906, but the VRC Derby was on November 3 and the Melbourne Cup was on November 6, so Poseidon’s accomplishment of winning both races over the span of three days seems to be one that will never be eclipsed and one that almost makes a Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double seem pedestrian by comparison.

The last time a three-year-old won the Melbourne Cup was in 1941, the year the race that stops a nation was won by Skipton.

We found only a few instances, in fact, of horses winning both races at any time in their careers.

Efficient won the Derby in 2006 and the Cup in 2007. Delta won the Derby in 1949 and the Cup in 1951. Comic Court’s Derby win was in 1948 and the Melbourne Cup came in 1950.

Grand Flaneur reversed the pattern, winning the Melbourne Cup in 1880 and the Derby in 1881.

If there is to be a Melbourne Cup winner in 2017 to come from Derby Day, it will have to be Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s Cismontane. The Kiwi stayer is, however, a five-year-old and carries a hefty $51 quote and will jump wide from the 17th barrier. Cismontane won the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500 m) to get the last spot in the Cup.

Cismontane will have a good view of Almandin ($9.50) when last year’s winner jumps from the 14th slot and also the favourite Marmelo ($7.50), coming out of 16.

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