The Victoria Derby is the premier staying event in Melbourne for the colts and geldings and a big field of 17 will line up this year.
Saturday’s feature race is run over 2500m which is a testing distance for three-year-olds and this year the field is extremely even.
Bookmakers usually have a firm favourite for the Derby, but there are currently six horses quoted at single figure odds.
We have our best bets for the Victoria Derby on what should be a great day of racing this Saturday at Flemington.
Be sure to shop around for the best odds this weekend and we recommend checking out new bookmaker Neds.
Our Best Bets for the 2018 Victoria Derby
Weather With You @ $7.50 – BET NOW
Best Each Way Bet:
Greycliffe @ $9.50 – BET NOW
Ocean’s Fourteen @ $13 – BET NOW
2018 Victoria Derby form guide and tips
Ace High ($5) – BET NOW
Ace High is the current equal favourite at $5 after winning its last two starts in Sydney.
The David Payne-trained colt took its time breaking maiden status, but he has now won three of his last five starts, including the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Randwick last start.
He wasn’t facing the Melbourne and New Zealand runners like he is here, but that was a tough performance on the speed and we’re not surprised to see the betting support come for him earlier this week.
Tangled ($7) – BET NOW
Chris Waller lines up Tangled which has been around the mark all season.
The son of Snitzel has won two of his 10 starts and he tried hard behind Cliff’s Edge in the Neil Robinson Stakes, which has subsequently finished second behind Oaks favourite Aloisia.
He suffered some unlucky runs in the Dulcify Stakes earlier this campaign, but he ran Ace High to within a nose in the Champion Stakes and having the experience running in Melbourne is going to help his chances.
Watch for the colt to be running on well late.
Astoria ($9) – BET NOW
James Cummings is represented by Astoria and its chances are helped by the inside draw.
The three-year-old is another Sydney-based runner which had experience running in the Geelong Classic last start. He finished third behind Weather With You in that race and that form should stack up well for this.
He settled well back in 12th throughout the race before pulling wide and coming with a big run. That effort would have topped him off nicely for this run and there are no queries about handling the extra distance.
Eshtiraak ($21) – BET NOW
It’s tough to recommend the three-year-old colt despite its record of four wins from 12 starts.
The Lindsay Park-trained colt looked good earlier on in his career, but his recent form doesn’t read well. He finished fifth last start at Caulfield and he hasn’t won all preparation.
He seems a touch one-paced which can be enough to win the Derby, but a win here doesn’t look likely.
Main Stage ($6.50) – BET NOW
Main Stage was the equal favourite when the final field market opened, but he has drifted out slightly to $6.50.
The New Zealand-bred runner has won and placed at Flemington which is going to be a big help and he produced a big turn-of-foot to win the UCI Stakes here in October.
That same turn-of-foot wasn’t apparent in the Neil Robinson last start, but Caulfield isn’t the best track for that and Flemington gives these big geldings time to get going.
He’s one for first four players with some early luck from out wide in barrier 14.
Sully ($8.50) – BET NOW
Stablemate to Main Stage, Sully has performed well at his last two starts since winning at Bendigo three starts ago.
The Reliable Man gelding scored a nose victory in rating 64 grade, but has since finished fourth in the Gloaming Stakes and third in the Champion Stakes.
It produced a bold finish at Randwick last start, suggesting the rise in distance is what he’s been looking for.
There’s a little uncertainty in the market with Sully, but Hugh Bowman will pilot the three-year-old and that’s a positive.
Weather With You (Best Bet @ $7.50) – BET NOW
Weather With You has been set for the Victoria Derby from day one this campaign and the New Zealand-trained runners have a good record in Australia.
The Baker/Forsman-trained gelding was an impressive all-the-way winner of the Geelong Classic and we believe that form line will be the strongest for the Derby.
The son of Teofilo may have finished seventh behind Main Stage in the UCI Stakes, but he needed the extra distance of the Classic and stretching out to the 2500m looks of no concern for the three-year-old.
Punters are still getting a good price for Weather With You and there’s great each way value on offer for the serious winning hope.
Aberro ($41) – BET NOW
Aberro is by All Too Hard and winning the Derby might be all too hard for Aberro.
The Matt Laurie-trained runner only broke maiden grades in August and he hasn’t won a race since.
He was no danger behind Cliff’s Edge last start and his odds should be $101, not $41.
Pissaro ($31) – BET NOW
Robbie Laing is a master trainer of stayers, but even he’ll struggle to get Pissaro to win a Derby.
The Pierro colt has scored one win from eight starts and is yet to finish in the placings at his other seven starts.
He was able to finish fourth behind Aloisia in the Moonee Valley Vase, but he was still 9.4 lengths behind the filly.
There is little confidence with this runner and a top three position would be a big surprise.
Justice Faith ($34) – BET NOW
Lindsay park lines up Justice Faith which will likely go under the radar in the Derby.
The son of Hinchinbrook finished sixth in the Geelong Classic and he didn’t have much luck in running.
He only scored his maiden win two starts back at Kyneton when beating Tina Turban, but it looks as though the extra distance is going to help his chances.
We can’t have him in our top selections, but there’s some interest with Justice Faith and the support could come late.
Ocean’s Fourteen (Best Roughie @ $14) – BET NOW
It won’t be easy to win a Derby at only his fourth start, but Ocean’s Fourteen has made a nice start to his career.
The Aaron Purcell-trained colt finished third on debut at Cranbourne before winning by almost three lengths at Donald.
Winning form at Donald is strangely enough a good form guide for the Melbourne spring carnival and his subsequent run in the Geelong Classic was a great performance.
He ran only a neck behind top pick Weather With You, and that experience is going to help the immature type.
He’s worth a bet at the odds.
Greycliffe (Best Each Way @ $10) – BET NOW
Greycliffe has been hammered in the betting since markets opened.
The Matt Cumani-trained three-year-old has had four starts for two wins and a placing – most notably a four-length win at Seymour last start.
His breeding reads well (Tavistock x. Tristraad) which means he’s bred to see out the Derby distance and punters have caught onto that fact.
That win came over 2200m and he powered away from his opposition, so seeing out the 2500m won’t be a problem and we’re expecting his odds to continue to firm.
Other runners might have more exposed form, but he’s our best each way hope because of his potential going forward.
Johnny Vinko ($26) – BET NOW
The third runner from the Busuttin/Young team, Johnny Vinko looked a Derby prospect when running third in the UCI Stakes, but his most recent effort was poor.
The son of Savabeel finished 11th in the Geelong Classic and he had the pace on up front to suit, but he couldn’t muster anything from the tail of the field.
It was a disappointing run from a gelding which had shown promise and on that basis, we can’t have him in the mix.
Nothing Too Hard ($126) – BET NOW
Despite its name, this might be too hard.
The Paul Perry-trained gelding has placed twice from 10 starts, but has yet to trouble the scorer.
It wasn’t too far behind Weather With You in the Geelong Classic, which earnt him a spot in the field, but we don’t think he can reproduce that effort.
The odds tell the story.
Rockarral ($51) – BET NOW
If nothing else, Rockarral has breeding on his side.
The son of High Chaparral is bred to see out the distance and he was running on well enough in the Geelong Classic.
It would be a surprise to see a three-year-old with a win at Gawler winning the Victoria Derby, but some horses simply don’t get the distance and this runner should.
We wouldn’t rule him out completely, but it would take some effort to win.
Wolfe Tone ($126) – BET NOW
Connections might be aiming too high here with the son of Mettre En Jeu, which has yet to win a race.
He only plugged on behind Aloisia last start and the best he has done so far is run second behind Studio City in a maiden at Seymour.
Not for us.
Beachwood ($101) – BET NOW
Struggling to break maiden grades and his stablemates are much more enticing betting chances.