Nuffield,1938 winner Harold Badger up
|Inaugurated||1861 (as Randwick Derby Stakes)|
|Race type||Thoroughbred - Flat racing|
|Sponsor||David Jones (2013)|
|Website||Australian Jockey Club|
|Distance||2,400 metres (~11⁄2 miles)|
colts and geldings – 56½ kgs
fillies – 54½ kgs
The Australian Derby is an Australian Turf Club Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia. Open to three year olds, the race is held annually in April. The race is considered as the top ranked event for three-year-olds in Australian and New Zealand race classifications.
Inaugurated in 1861 as the AJC Randwick Derby Stakes, the first race was won by Kyogle, a grandson of the Touchstone who was a four-time Champion sire in Great Britain & Ireland. In 1865 the name of the race was changed to the AJC Australia Derby Stakes then from 1873 through 1993 it was called the AJC Derby. Although the race officially became the AJC Australian Derby in 1994, it is still commonly referred to as the AJC Derby.
The official records show that Prince Humphrey won the 1928 Derby, but he wasn’t in the race. It was a horse called Cragsman, by the same sire but with a different dam. This substitution came to light when Dick Tate of Toowoomba saw a picture of the Derby winner and was aware that Prince Humphrey had different markings, and had photographs to prove it.
From 1932 to 1956, geldings were banned from competing in the Derby.
Originally run at a distance of 11⁄2 miles, in 1972 the race was changed to 2,400 metres (~11.93 furlongs) to conform to the metric system. In 1978 there was no race held and under a reorganisation, it was changed from a spring racing event to be run in the autumn beginning in 1979. Contested over 2,400 metres on a right-handed turf course, it has been won by some of the greats of the Australian turf, including Phar Lap, Tulloch, and Kingston Town.
Time record: (at current 2,400 metres distance)
- 2:28.41 - Octagonal (1996)
Largest winning margin:
- 10 lengths - Trident (1886)
Most wins by a jockey:
- 6 - Thomas Hales (1875, 1880, 1882, 1884, 1886, 1887)
Winners of the Australian Derby since 1979
‡ Change in scheduling of race from spring to autumn
† Dead heat
The premiere race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds in other countries:
- New Zealand Derby
- Derby Italiano
- Deutsches Derby
- Epsom Derby
- Kentucky Derby
- Prix du Jockey Club
- Queen's Plate