Australian Derby Tips & Preview 2024

Image sourced from Australian Turf Club Facebook

Looking for Australian Derby tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2024 Australian Derby at Randwick.


The three-year-olds step out in the Australian Derby and it is the last start Rosehill Guineas (2000m) winner, Riff Rocket, that is the $3.60 favourite with NEDS ahead of a pair of Godolphin gallopers in Zardozi at $4.20 and Tom Kitten at $5.50. The last start Tulloch Stakes (2000m) winner, Wymark, is at $7. 

There are 14 acceptors for the $2 million affair and Ceolwulf is at $11 after his effort to finish runner-up behind Riff Rocket in the Rosehill Guineas, while Cap Ferrat and Immediacy are next best at $15. Ganbare and Noisy Boy head the rest at $26. 


Six of the 14 runners had their most recent start in the Rosehill Guineas and they crawled early on before the race developed into a sit-sprint. Riff Rocket settled back in the field and was posted wide without cover from the 800m but was good enough to overcome the slow pace to arrive in time in the straight, going 1.1 lengths faster than standard. That is well short of the 11.6 lengths faster that he clocked when 3rd in the Australian Guineas (1600m) at his start prior to that. 

The Chris Waller-trained galloper comes into this fourth up and went down in an upset at this stage of his last preparation before claiming the VRC Derby (2400m) at his only start over the distance, going 8.7 lengths faster than standard. 

Tom Kitten was among the beaten brigade in the Rosehill Guineas and wasn’t suited by the slow tempo. He settled closer than expected but lacked the dash at the business end and faded into 6th. Not sure I can have the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) winner on that effort. He went 13.4 lengths faster than standard when winning that race last spring and that remains the best figure than what any horse in this race has produced but the question is whether or not he is going as well. 

Ceolwulf was strong to the line in the Rosehill Guineas, finishing runner-up and is an each-way contender here. Cap Ferrat (3rd), Ganbare (4th) and Immediacy (5th) are the others to come out of the Rosehill Guineas. Ganbare led at the slow clip, while Immediacy and Cap Ferrat were handy. 

Three contenders come out of the Tulloch Stakes and they didn’t go that hard in that race either so it is hard to see the Derby developing into a genuine staying test. Wymark has now won four on the trot and settled midfield before going 5.5 lengths faster than standard, which is the best last start figure of any runner. Noisy Boy (2nd) and Glad You Think So (7th) were also in action in the Tulloch Stakes. Both ran on. 

Zardozi is on the back up after placing 3rd in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) last weekend. She is the only filly in the Derby and settled just worse than midfield on a very slow tempo before running on to finish a length behind the gun Kiwi filly, Orchestral. She went 0.2 lengths slower than standard. The daughter of Kingman went 8.1 lengths faster than standard when claiming the Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flemington last year. 

The likes of Hooligan Tommy, Zenmaster, Adagio and Saxon Brave come out of separate races and that quartet will all need to produce massive personal bests to trouble some of the higher fancies in the market. 

A Heavy track is likely for Randwick on Saturday and Zardozi might be best suited having won five of seven on wet tracks. Riff Rocket is two from three on Soft and is yet to race on Heavy. Tom Kitten has raced once on the Heavy for a win. 


Riff Rocket did the job for us in the Rosehill Guineas and there is no reason to jump off the Chris Waller-trained galloper at this stage. He draws widest of the 10 runners but does seem to be the one that is adaptable enough to throw whatever it is that the tempo of the race or the track conditions can throw at him, while he is proven at the trip with his win in the Victoria Derby last year. James McDonald jumps on the son of American Pharaoh and has partnered him three times for two wins.