VRC Sprint Classic

The 2019 VRC Sprint Classic (formerly known as the Darley Classic and the Patinack Farm Classic) is a Group 1 race that takes place at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne each November.

2019 VRC Sprint Classic Results

  • 1st: TBD
  • 2nd: TBD
  • 3rd: TBD

Run under weight-for-age conditions, the VRC Sprint Classic is contested over a distance of 1,200 metres on the famous Flemington straight and is worth $2 million in prize money. The VRC Sprint Classic is held on Mackinnon Stakes Day, which is the final day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival. The race takes place alongside the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes and is one of the two Australian legs of the Global Sprint Challenge.

The first VRC Sprint Classic was run in 1868 when it was won by a horse named Gulnare. Throughout the running of the VRC Sprint Classic it has changed in name and distance on numerous occasions. The race began as a six furlongs race until it was changed to seven furlongs in 1887. The VRC Sprint Classic increased in distance again in 1908 when it was changed to eight furlongs. The distance was then reduced gradually until it became today’s 1,200 metres in 1992.

The VRC Sprint Classic was first run as a Principal Race until 1979 when it was granted Group 2 status. The race became a Group 1 when it took over the role from the Salinger Stakes, which was downgraded to a Group 2. The VRC Sprint Classic was originally known as the Flying Stakes and underwent many different name changes throughout its history until becoming the Darley Classic in 2008. The VRC Sprint Classic was not held from 1942-1944 due to World War 2. In 2013, the name was changed from Patinack Farm Classic to VRC Sprint Classic.

Horses that compete in the VRC Sprint Classic often come via the Group 1 Moir Stakes or the Group 2 Salinger Stakes on Derby Day. Notable winners of the Darley Classic include Carbine (1888-89), Amounis (1926-27,1929), Phar Lap (1930), Chatham (1931-33), Ajax (1937-38), Noholme (1959), Sky High (1962), Vain (1969), Redelva (1988,1990), Sequalo (1994), Belle Du Jour (2001), Choisir (2002), Fastnet Rock (2004), Miss Andretti (2007), All Silent (2009), Black Caviar (2010-11), Buffering (2013), Redzel (2017) and Santa Ana Lane (2018).

VRC Sprint Classic Field

2019 VRC Sprint Classic Field

The 2019 VRC Sprint Classic field will be published here once announced the day after Melbourne Cup Day.

The Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic is the top echelon of sprint racing in Australia so it’s no surprise that the VRC Sprint Classic field is always brimming with talent. It’s a race that is talked about all year and if a horse is to be good enough to gain a start it needs to have proved itself early on and show genuine speed. While consistency and courage count for a little bit, when it comes to the VRC Sprint Classic nothing counts more than sheer turn of foot.

For many people there’s no better sight in Australian racing than the 1200m straight track test down the Flemington main straight. There’s nowhere to hide in a race like this and any horses which may have been having a run of luck to get them here will soon be found out. That’s not to say riding tactics and stamina don’t come into the race at all though, timing is just as crucial in a direct line as it is around a bend. It is certainly a lot more difficult though and it’s always best to look for jockeys who have proven straight track success. The same goes for the horses as well obviously, those with experience over 1200m at Flemington certainly tend to stand out in the VRC Sprint Classic field.

2019 VRC Sprint Classic Nominations

The 2019 VRC Sprint Classic nominations are announced on a Tuesday in late September along with those for the VRC Oaks and VRC Derby.

The 2019 VRC Sprint Classic nominations will be provided below as soon as announced.

Among the official 59 VRC Sprint Classic 2019 Nominations are last year’s champion Santa Ana Lane, the 2017 hero Redzel who has subsequently won two editions of The Everest and early favourite Pierata tipped to improve on his third in 2018.

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer
1 1×2 ALABAMA EXPRESS C 3 Michael Moroney
2 111306x13x ALIZEE M 5 James Cummings
3 2x1550x810 BALLER H 4 Anthony Cummings
4 613x4x BARCALI C 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
5 1x272x241x BEHEMOTH G 4 David Jolly
6 2x3141x121 BIVOUAC C 3 James Cummings
7 x14025x22x BONS AWAY G 6 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
8 82x19x0x8x BOOKER M 5 Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra
9 x3178447x3 CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES M 5 Bjorn Baker
10 1x2218x COSMIC FORCE C 3 Peter & Paul Snowden
11 311x11x127 DEPRIVE G 5 James Cummings
12 x11110x450 DESPATCH G 5 Tony & Calvin McEvoy
13 74x1x800x5 DIVINE QUALITY M 6 Robbie Griffiths
14 x123015x42 DUBIOUS C 3 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
15 221x303x3x EDUARDO G 6 Sarah Zschoke
16 811317×449 EMBRACE ME (NZ) M 4 Danny O’Brien
17 11111x162x ENTICING STAR M 6 Chris Waller
18 221120x11x EXHILARATES F 3 James Cummings
19 6481320x1x FAATINAH G 7 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
20 312x2x FLIT F 3 James Cummings
21 2x154134x3 GEM SONG H 4 Kris Lees
22 235x440x34 GRAFF H 4 Kris Lees
23 1401x7x58x HEY DOC G 6 Tony & Calvin McEvoy
24 0x214x70x5 HOME OF THE BRAVE (IRE) G 8 James Cummings
25 311362102x I AM SOMEONE G 5 Paul Preusker
26 39x372x16x IN HER TIME M 7 Kris Lees
27 112×4 KUBRICK C 3 Chris Waller
28 x28496x30x LE ROMAIN G 7 Kris Lees
29 211×113 LIBERTINI F 3 Anthony Cummings
30 51113×42 LYRE F 3 Anthony Freedman
31 6720221424 MALIBU STYLE G 8 Neville Parnham
32 672133x04x MERYL M 4 Lee Curtis
33 121121x MICROPHONE C 3 James Cummings
34 1x6812125x MILWAUKEE G 6 Michael Moroney
35 x1614x908x MISS FABULASS M 4 Kris Lees
36 0x31446x11 MIZZY M 4 Anthony Cummings
37 18x1014x4x NATURE STRIP G 5 Chris Waller
38 531x22222x OSBORNE BULLS G 6 James Cummings
39 433x1111x2 PARSIFAL (NZ) G 5 Will Clarken
40 13x5251x21 PIERATA H 5 Gregory Hickman
41 15x2862x13 REDZEL G 7 Peter & Paul Snowden
42 x5161x514x SANTA ANA LANE G 7 Anthony Freedman
43 2429x1x234 SEBRAKATE C 3 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
44 2x50x1111x SPECIAL REWARD G 4 Simon A Miller
45 63x226x53x SPIRIT OF VALOR (USA) H 6 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
46 2x528218x5 STRASBOURG C 3 Peter & Paul Snowden
47 2x21x3x SUN CITY C 3 Tony & Calvin McEvoy
48 71x3113x5x SUNLIGHT M 4 Tony & Calvin McEvoy
49 4261x2650x TACTICAL ADVANTAGE G 6 Kris Lees
50 111x5416x TEN SOVEREIGNS (IRE) H 4 Aidan O’Brien
51 17525x110x THE BOSTONIAN (NZ) G 5 Tony Pike
52 x11118x11x THE INEVITABLE G 4 Scott Brunton
53 194x41131x TREKKING G 5 James Cummings
54 1272×22 TROPE H 4 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
55 110x13430x WINTER BRIDE M 5 Toby & Trent Edmonds
56 211x17x2 YES YES YES C 3 Chris Waller
57 2x422x20x6 ZOUSAIN H 4 Chris Waller
58 1x111x1x6x ZOUSTYLE G 4 Tony Gollan
59 54x11100x1 ZOUTORI G 4 Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra

VRC Sprint Classic Form Guide

The great thing about showpiece events such as this is that it’s always easy to get a good early read when it comes to the VRC Sprint  Classic form guide. All of the horses have to have shown class throughout the year so you can find and view the lead up races for all the top hopes. Obviously the difficulty that poses is knowing that every horse in the field is of Group 1 level. For that reason always judge a horses efforts based around the quality of horses it was against and what those horses went on to do in their next runs.

When it comes to the VRC Sprint Classic form guide there are a couple of events which usually seem to work the best including Moonee Valley’s Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Cox Plate Eve and the world’s richest turf race – the $14 million The Everest.

VRC Sprint Classic Betting

It’s the biggest sprinting Group 1 of the spring carnival so naturally the VRC Sprint  Classic betting race is just as highly rated. Punters have had plenty of time to see their favourites in action during the carnival so they can justify their chances with plenty of evidence to back up their claims. This also creates an environment where short priced favourites aren’t overly uncommon, the form horse of the carnival is still likely to be the form horse in this event. This is further backed up by the fact weight for age conditions naturally favour the classiest of runners.

One factor which can confuse things slightly is the fact the lead up events are mostly handicap races. This means a horse may be beaten as a top weight in an earlier race but then receive a significant reduction coming into the VRC Sprint Classic. Some horses are known for not really handling big weights so it’s certainly a factor not to be ignored in the betting markets. For those people looking to place a bet remember to look further afield than simply your local TAB. Online betting agencies regularly battle for your dollar and at the end of the spring carnival this battle often gets more intense than ever meaning there’s more in it for you.

VRC Sprint Classic Odds

As was mentioned previously the VRC Sprint Classic odds are no sure thing and every year the market will be drastically different depending on that years sprinting results. The vast majority of these horses will run against each other throughout the season though so bookies tend to have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. This creates an environment where favourite backers thrive and this race is renowned for throwing up a few short priced runners.

That being said though Australia is considered a haven for sprinting talent and every year the country seems to churn out more and more top class short distance runners. While some years there will be an absolute freak which blows everyone out of the water others it can be a lot more difficult to separate those battling at the top of the ratings. Always have a look at the VRC Sprint  Classic odds very carefully and consider every horse not just the top runners. Track conditions play a big part in straight track events and a horse may find itself bogged down badly is its susceptible to wet tracks. That could either mean a roughies previous form is worth dismissing or it could place a question mark on a favourite if it’s wet on race day.

VRC Sprint Classic Tips

On the surface a 1200m straight test seems like one of the more easy assignments in racing but as has been discussed getting good VRC Sprint  Classic tips covers a lot of factors. The number one starting points previous form, if a horse is yet to produce a good result against this company before it’s hard to back it at Group 1 level. Second is track conditions, is the surface wet or is it dry and which horses have the best record on the different ratings. If the skies open above Flemington on the day of the race that becomes even more important.

The other areas which you need to look at are perhaps not as crucial but can help you split a couple which you fancy. Straight track form is a big one, just as a jockey might get lost in a straight line so too can a horse, either going too early or not knowing when to go at all. Finally prep lengths, this race comes in November and if a long campaign has dampened a horses turn of foot you can call it game over. Luckily one area which isn’t an issue is the barrier draw.

VRC Sprint Classic Day

It’s the final day of the Melbourne spring racing carnival and the last Group 1 event held in Melbourne for the year. As a result it’s not surprising that the crowds are always out in force for VRC Sprint Classic Day and the atmosphere is electric. It’s always held on the Saturday after the Melbourne Cup so with the majority of people off work and the thrill of the race that stops the nation still fresh in their minds horse racing always takes centre stage.

It is not the only Group 1 one on the card though, in fact the official name for the program is Mackinnon Stakes Day. Not surprisingly the Mackinnon Stakes is the co-feature event in what is one of the most imposing race meetings anywhere in the country. Both events carry a lucrative prize pool, the Mackinnon Stakes a 2000m test for Cox Plate graduates.


VRC Sprint Classic Results

In a race which crowns the best sprinter at weight for age level in the country it’s not surprising that some absolute champions feature on the winners list.

Going back to back in the VRC Sprint  Classic is something which has proved very difficult, in fact the last horse to do it was Planet Ruler way back in 1989 / 1990. Since then the champions have kept on coming with the likes of Gold Ace in 1996 and Rubitano in 2002. After that came Takeover Target which won in 2004 before conquering the UK as well. Miss Andretti strode a similar path after her win in 2007. In 2010 though came arguably the best ever, Black Caviar adding the VRC Sprint  Classic to an unbeaten winning streak stretching all the way back to her debut. Black Caviar then successfully defended her title going back-to-back in 2011.

Past Winners & Results

Here you will find a list of results for the VRC Sprint  Classic (formerly Darley Classic) since 2000.

Year Results Winning Time
2019 1 TBD 2 TBD 3 TBD TBD
2018 1 TBD 2 TBD 3 TBD TBD
2017 1 Redzel 2 Terravista 3 Impending 1:08.7
2015 1 Delectation 2 Chautauqua 3 Terravista 1:10.0
2014 1 Terravista 2 Chautauqua 3 Lankan Rupee 1:08.8
2013 1 Buffering 2 Shamexpress 3 Moment Of Change 1:10.4
2012 1 Mental 2 Sea Siren 3 Halloween Belle 1:07.9
2011 1 Black Caviar 2 Buffering 3 Mid Summer Music 1:08.3
2010 1 Black Caviar 2 Star Witness 3 Ortensia 1:07.9
2009 1 All Silent 2 Wanted 3 Bank Robber 1:08.7
2008 1 Swick 2 Turffontein 3 Sunburnt Land 1:11.0
2007 1 Miss Andretti 2 Gold Edition 3 Stanzout 1:08.9
2006 1 Dance Hero 2 Shadoways 3 Miss Andretti 1:08.6
2005 1 Glamour Puss 2 Barely A Moment 3 Cape Of Good Hope 1:08.9
2004 1 Takeover Target 2 Recurring 3 St Basil 1:08.2
2003 1 Ancient Song 2 Into The Night 3 Blessum 1:11.0
2002 1 Rubitano 2 Intelligent Star 3 Cosmic Strike 1:07.1
2001 1 Sudurka 2 Hire 3 Camena 1:08.4
2000 1 Easy Rocking 2 Umrum 3 Tilt The Scales 1:10.0