Last 5 Winners of the VRC Derby
Having such a long history, with the first edition of the Victoria Derby run in 1855, there have been a number of notable runners who have run and won editions of the VRC Derby. The likes of Phar Lap, Comic Court, Hall Mark Taj Rossi have all won the Derby before heading off to bigger and better things.
In more recent years the Derby has still been a hotly contested race with an immense level of talent entered into the 3yo race over 2500m however many have gone on to have more limited careers with Tarzino, Ace High and Polanski all winning editions of the race before early retirement.
We take a look at the past 5 winners of the VRC Derby and understand what they did before their win, how they won the country's premier 3yo race and what they did after.
2018 Winner Of The Victoria Derby - Extra Brut
Trainer - Darren Weir
Jockey - John Allen
Price - $10.00
The winner of the 2018 Victoria Derby was a horse called Extra Brut who won the race for trainer Darren Weir. Extra Brut was ridden to victory in the VRC Derby by Irish jockey John Allen carrying a weight of 55.5kgs.
Extra Brut before winning the Victoria Derby
Extra Brut was foaled in 2015 and wasn’t raced as a two year old with his first start to racing coming as a three year old at Geelong on the 6th August 2018 where he finished second in a maiden class race.
The 3yo colt would soon put that race behind him going on to win his next three starts and rising through the grades quickly. His third win would come in the Listed UCI Stakes at Flemington haven risen in stakes to 1800m that start and seemingly getting better the further the distance each time.
Extra Brut would have one further start before tackling the VRC Derby when he would race in the Group Three Ladbrokes Stakes, his toughest start to date. Extra Brut a $2.60 favourite for the race would finish in 6th with Thinkin Big taking the title and thus getting installed as a $2.30 favourite to follow that up with a Derby victory.
Extra Brut Wins The 2018 Victoria Derby
After his loss in the Ladbrokes Classic, Extra Brut wasn’t quite written off, but went from a $3.60 favourite out to a $10 chance to win the Derby. He would go on to prove the doubters wrong with his biggest win to date.
Jumping from barrier 13, Extra Brut would be forced to settle at the back of the field for the majority of the race with just Savvy Oak for company. It wouldn’t be until the final turn where Extra Brut would gain ground and it wasn’t an easy task.
Having to travel nearly 9 wide on the bend Extra Brut would find the middle of the track and power forward under the ride of Allen. At the 250m marker Extra Brut would hit the front and kick on from the field.
Stars Of Carrum would make a late charge into second but as Extra Brut kept finding he was able to comfortably hold on and win the 2018 Victoria Derby.
Extra Brut After The 2018 Victoria Derby
Extra Brut would have one more start in Australia when finishing third in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (now the Champions Mile) before he was transferred to the care of trainer Frankie Lor in Hong Kong.
His final start would be in the Class 1 Chevaliar Cup at Sha Tin where he would finish third behind Fast Most Furious.
Extra Brut would be retired as a three year old and commence a career at stud after amassing $1.5m in Prize money from 10 career starts.
2019 Victoria Derby Winner - Warning
Trainer - Sam and Anthony Freedman
Jockey - Damien Oliver
Price - $9.50
The winner of the 2019 Victoria Derby was Warning who won the race for the training partnership of Sam and Anthony Freedman. Warning won the 2019 VRC Derby and was ridden by champion jockey Damien Oliver to victory.
Warning Before The 2019 Victoria Derby
Warning began a short, two start two year old campaign at Ballarat in the Autumn of 2019. On that day he would finish 7th, 4.55 lengths off the winner Barcali.
After that Warning would go on to have a number of starts working up through the grades without a win. At the fifth time of asking Warning would win the Super Impose Stakes at Listed level to end his hunt of a maiden victory.
The Freedman runner would then follow that up with a 2nd place finish behind Thought Of That in the Ladbrokes Classic at Caulfield with many believing he had a real chance of winning the Derby.
Warning was installed as a $9.50 chance to win the Group One Victoria Derby Shadow Hero the favourite for the 2019 VRC Derby.
Warning Wins The 2019 Victoria Derby
Anthony and Sam Freedman trained Warning won the 2019 Victoria Derby when defeating Southern Moon and Soul Patch into the minor placings. The winning margin was 3.25 lengths with a time of 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
Warning jumped from barrier 10 for the 2019 Victoria Derby and was quickly forced to move to the front of the field when failing to find a spot in the field. He would look to be in trouble early under the ride of Oliver having to travel four wide into the bend before having to take the lead.
With Long Jack for company the pair would attempt to put the breaks on and steady the pace, however Thought Of That would leave them no rest and push on once again forcing Warning to drop back in the field and pick up the one out one back position.
It would be a steady pace through to the final 600m where the runs would start and as Long Jack cranked the pace Warning would peel three wide once again to mount a challenge.
Under hands and heel Warning would quickly move to the lead and move a length clear of the field. Soul Patch would show a quick burst of speed but given a couple of persuaders at the 100m marker to pull three lengths clear and win the 2019 Victoria Derby.
Warning After The 2019 Victoria Derby
After the Derby win Warning would go on to start another 33 races including starts in the Group One Melbourne Cup, Turnbull Stakes and the TAB Australian Cup as well as competing in a number of other Black Type races.
Warning would win a further three starts at Group Three and Listed level and continues to race as a seven year old and beyond.
The Freedman Gelding looked be regaining form in 2023 when marginally missing out on the Group 3 Premier’s Cup in Brisbane before once again narrowly missing victory when second in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup at Eagle Farm.
2020 Winner Of The Victoria Derby - Johnny Get Angry
Trainer - Dennis Pagan
Jockey - Lachlan King
Price - $21.00
Johnny Get Angry won the 2020 Victoria Derby for trainer Dennis Pagan who was a former Australian Rules Football Coach. Johnny Get Angry was ridden to victory in the 2020 VRC Derby by jockey Lachlan King with a winning margin of a length.
Johnny Get Angry Before The 2020 Victoria Derby
The story of Johnny Get Angry before the 2020 Victoria Derby is nothing short of brilliant with the former Aussie Rules Coach turned Horse Racing trainer only gaining his full licence to train three months prior to the start of the 2020 VRC Derby.
Dennis Pagan was a two time AFL Premiership winning coach before he retired and followed his passion of horse racing. Initial working with some of the top trainers in Melbourne Pagan opened his own small stable with Johnny Get Angry as his first ever race horse.
After a number of minor placings at Flemington as well as a third place finish in the Group 3 Drummond Golf Vase Johnny Get Angry would head to the VRC Derby and give Pagan entry to his biggest race to date.
Johnny Get Angry Wins The 2020 Victoria Derby
Johnny Get Angry won the 2020 Victoria Derby in a boilover that saw the three year old Gelding win by an official margin of a length.
There were two short price favourites leading into the 2020 Victoria Derby with Cherry Tortini for Patrick Payne and Young Werther for Danny O’Brien both installed as $3.40 joint favourites while Johnny Get Angry was sat as a $21 outside of the field.
After the gates opened on the race Johnny Get Angry was able to just a bit further forward than midfield under a strong hold from jockey Lachlan King. Outside Kenzan would lead the field off at a furious tempo with the race favourites settling midfield.
Heading into the final turn Young Werther would begin to make a move and was quickly tracked by King aboard the Pagan runner. Entering the straight Johnny Get Angry would be travelling best and quickly move to contest the lead.
Young Werther would be in the fight however as the pair would move to the front for a head to head battle. In the final 100m Johnny Get Angry would go on to find more than the O’Brien runner and win the Group One Victoria Derby.
Johnny Get Angry After Winning the Victoria Derby
Johnny Get Angry went to spell after his VRC Derby win returning the following year to contest a number of Group Ones including the Melbourne Cup. He would fail to finish higher than 9th in any future start and be retired.
The former Dennis Pagan trained runner was retired to the Living Legends farm where he is currently there youngest resident after a 12 start career.
2021 Victoria Derby Winner - Hitotsu
Trainer - Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
Jockey - John Allen
Price - $4.00
Hitotsu won the 2021 Victoria Derby for trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. Hitotsu was ridden to victory in the Group One Victoria Derby by jockey John Allen by a margin of 1.75 lengths over Alegron who finished second.
Hitotsu Before the 2021 Victoria Derby
Unlike previous horse Hitotsu was quickly in the deep end when it came to racing first running as a two year old, competing in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude on debut before tackling the Blue Diamond at Group One and the Sires Produce at Group 2 level.
He failed to finish anywhere near the places in those contests with the shorter trips less than 1400m not proving long enough for the two year old.
Hitotsu would return for the stable as a three year old and claim an easy kill in a Maiden Plate at Donald before finishing 5th in the Caulfield Guineas with a much improved performance over 1600m.
It would be the finish in the Group One Caulfield Guineas that would set the bookies scrambling with the three year old hitting the line hard in the lead up to the 2021 Victoria Derby.
Hitotsu wins the 2021 Victoria Derby
When Hitotsu won the 2021 Victoria Derby he jumped out of the barriers as the race favourite carrying a $4 price tag. On the second line of betting was Gunstock at $4.60 with Alegron and Forget You both on the third line of betting at $6.
Hitotsu would start from barrier 6 in the 2021 Derby and was slowly away meaning that he was forced back into a midfield spot from the inside draw. Hitotsu would be tracked keenly by fellow race favourite Gunstock who would sit three wide to track the Maher and Eustace runner.
Through the race Hitotsu would continue to be shuffled back through the pack and find himself second last when entering the home turn. At the 400m marker Hitotsu would still be sat at the back of the field with little runner room.
At the 300m Alegron would kick for home, however Jonny Allen would find a hole to push through and was out into the clear. With a couple of cracks of the whip Hitotsu would open up sharply to reign in Alegron and win the 2021 Victoria Derby by 1.75 lengths.
Hitotsu After Winning The 2021 Victoria Derby
After winning the 2021 Victoria Derby big things were expected of Hitotsu who would go on to win Group One Australian Guineas in the Autumn of 2022. He would follow that up with another Group One title when winning the Australian Derby at Royal Randwick before injury cut his Autumn campaign short.
Hitotsu would be miss the entire of the 2022 Spring with another attempt to return for Autumn 2023 was cut short once again because of another injury. The decision was made by connections to retire Hitotsu with a career at stud on the cards.
2022 Victoria Derby Winner - Manzoice
Trainer - Chris Waller
Jockey - Michael Dee
Price - $21.00
Manzoice was the winner of the 2022 Victoria Derby winning for the stable of trainer Chris Waller. Manzoice won the VRC Derby under the ride of Michael Dee who won the race by a margin of 0.5 lengths to Sharp ‘N’ Smart.
Manzoice Before The 2022 Victoria Derby
In 2022 Chris Waller had a knack of getting the best out of runners at the right time with Durston winning the 2022 Caulfield Cup and Manzoice winning the Victoria Derby with very little in the way of form lines behind them.
Before the VRC Derby Manzoice had one win to his name and had finished 8th and 9th in both starts against his own age group at Group Level. Little expected of the 3 year old when he came into the Derby yet he showed up at the right time.
Manzoice was a drifter in the market on the day of the Derby and there was no surprise as he entered the race after having his first go at 2000m in the Spring Champion Stakes finishing 8th, nearly five lengths off Kiwi Raider Sharp ‘N’ Smart.
Manzoice Wins The 2022 Victoria Derby
Yet against all the odds Manzoice came leaping out of the ground to win the 2022 VRC Derby under the ride of Michael Dee for trainer Chris Waller. Manzoice defeated Sharp ‘N’ Smart in a thrilling and swash buckling finish.
As the race started Sharp N Smart jumped as a $2.90 favourite who would find himself just off the speed on settling down Manzoice would settle just worse than midfield tucked away on the rail.
There wouldn’t be much change until the home turn where Manzoice would find himself shuffled to the back of the pack and be forced to navigate a way through the field as they entered the home straight.
Race favourite Sharp N Smart would race to the lead and at the 100m marker would claim a 2 length lead only for Manzoice to come absolutely flying out of the pack and claim the 2022 edition of the Derby by just under a length.
Manzoice After Winning The 2022 Victoria Derby
Manzoice returned to racing in the Autumn of 2023 competing in the Rosehill Guineas, Randwick Guineas and Australian Derby in Sydney and was unable to land a glove on the final placings.
At the time of writing Manzoice is set to return in the Spring of 2023 having trialled through July and August.