Australian Derby Tips & Predictions

DateSaturday April 6, 2019
ClassGroup 1
Race TypeSet Weights
Prizemoney$2 million
Age3YO colts and geldings

{Back anything with an NZ besides its name. The New Zealand thoroughbreds love the distance and the wet track in April plays into their hands as well.

Don't focus on the horses with natural speed because that doesn't win over this distance. Look for the genuine staying chances.}

The Australian Derby is the premier three-year-old staying race in Australia and is worth $2 million in prize money.

Held on Day 1 of The Championships, the Derby is considered the "Stallion making" race in Australia and it has been taken out by some the Southern Hemisphere's best thoroughbreds. 

It's tough for a filly to win the race based on the weights, so the Derby has been dominated by the colts and geldings for some time.

Australian Derby betting selections & tips

We will have expert tips for the Australian Derby available when the final-field markets are released by bookmakers, but bettors can invest into futures markets which are open in the months leading up the race.

New Zealand-bred thoroughbreds have scored many recent wins in the Derby and they're worth backing.

Australian Derby Day betting card 2019

There are 10 premier races on Australian Derby Day at Randwick, including three other Group 1 races and the Doncaster Mile.

Race No.
Race Name
1Widden Anniversary Stakes
2Carbine Club Stakes
3Chairman's Handicap
4Country Championships Final
5P.J. Bell Stakes
6Inglis Sires
7Australian Derby
8T.J. Smith Stakes
9Doncaster Mile
10Adrian Knox Stakes

Australian Derby history

The Australian Derby was inaugurated as the AJC Randwick Derby Stakes in 1861 before changing name to the Australian Derby in 1873.

Octagonal set the race record in 1996 when winning in a time of 2:28.41 and the biggest margin of victory came by Trident in 1886 when it scored by 10 lengths.

There hasn't been much controversy in the history of the race, except on one occasion where the wrong horse won the race.

Prince Humphrey was declared the winner in 1928, but a punter pointed out that the horse in the picture had different markings to Prince Humphrey.

The horse turned out to be Cragsman, which was by the same sire but with a different dam.

Australian Derby betting guide

Bettors should be looking for the New Zealand-bred and New Zealand-trained horses when making their Derby selections.

New Zealand-bred horses won the Australian Derby from 2013 – 2017 which included wins from It's A Dundeel, Criterion, Mongolian Khan, Tavago and Jon Snow.

The dominance of the Kiwi runners is no fluke as they're set for the big staying features every year. New Zealand stud farms are best known for their staying prowess and that's starting to show in Australia, especially in the Derby.

It's always tough to gauge the ability of three-year-old stayers, but history tells us to look for the legitimate distance types.

Milers won't often win the 2400m race and despite the winners being a touch one-paced, that's often what is needed to win a Derby.

It takes a good horse to win the Derby and when past winners include the likes of Bonecrusher, Naturalism, Tulloch, Gloaming and the one and only Phar Lap, you know it's not an easy race to win.

Look for the natural stayers and disregard horses that have more speed and endurance.

Australian Derby track report

Despite being run in April, the Australian Derby can be affected by bad weather and that has often played havoc with bettors.

April is autumn time in Australia, so bettors should be looking for the stayers that can handle some cut out of the ground.

A wet track at Randwick makes it tough for the stayers that possess pace to win. They are often struggling to lift their legs at the end of the 2400m.

This is another reason to focus on the New Zealand runners. They love the wet, as shown by Jon Snow in 2017, and conditions rarely change in April.

Recent Australian Derby past winners

Race Winner
2017Jon Snow
2015Mongolian Khan
2013It’s A Dundeel
2010Shoot Out
2009Roman Emperor
2008Nom Du Jeu
2002Don Eduardo
2001Universal Prince
1999Sky Heights
1998Gold Guru
1997Ebony Grosve
1995Ivory’s Irish
1993Innocent King
1990Dr. Grace
1988Beau Zam