Darley Champions Sprint Winning Trends


The Darley Champions Sprint (1200m) is one of the highlights of the Flemington carnival and we take a look at the Darley Champions Sprint winning trends.

The $1.5 million affair always attracts the best sprinters. It used to be run on the first Saturday of the Flemington carnival before being switched to Stakes day in 2007. Winners include the mighty Black Caviar in 2010/2011, Miss Andretti (2007) and Takeover Target (2004), while recent winners include Nature Strip, Santa Ana Lane and Redzel.

Taking a look at the Darley Sprint Classic winning trends since the year 2000, there are a few things to consider when trying to back a winner. It has not been a happy hunting ground for favourites since the Black Caviar era.

Since Black Caviar, only one favourite has won the race and that was Redzel in 2017. Nature Strip ran as second favourite last year, while Santa Ana Lane finished 5th as a $2.15 chance. Chautauqua missed out as the popular elect in 2014 and 2015. Prior to 2012, the mighty Black Caviar dominated. She won at $1.05 in 2011 and at the ‘generous’ odds of $1.95 in 2010. Miss Andretti scored as a $1.57 chance in 2007. Only one other favourite has won in the time period since 2000, All Silent at $4 in 2009.

The average price of the winners has been $8.50. The longest priced winner in the last 18 years was Sudurka at $21 in 2001, while Dance Hero won at $15 in 2006. In early betting markets with ladbrokes, Bivouac is a $3.70 favourite just ahead of Nature Strip at $3.90. Libertini is a $7.50 chance, while Santa Ana Lane is at $8.50

Those four had their previous run in the Everest (1200m) at Randwick. Since the Everest was first run in 2017, all VRC Sprint Classic winners since then have had their last starts in the worlds richest race on turf.

Five of the seven winners prior to that had their previous run at Moonee Valley in either the Manikato Stakes (1200m) or Schweppes Stakes (1000m), which is now the Moir Stakes and raced earlier in the season.

The Schweppes (or Moir) used to be run on Cox Plate weekend before being moved to September. Hey Doc claimed the Manikato Stakes this year.

Tofane, Libertini and Fabergino are three mares in the race this year. The girls have a moderate record since 2000, producing five winners with Glamour Puss (2005) and Ancient Song (2003) joining Black Caviar and Miss Andretti as other members of the fairer sex to have won the race.

An interesting stat is that five-year-olds have dominated this race, winning it on 11 of the 20 occasions since 2000. Horses in that age bracket this year are Graff, Zoutori and Tofane. Of the trainers in the VRC Sprint Classic this year, Anthony Freedman, Danny O’Brien and Chris Waller are among the recent winners. Waller has Nature Strip and won with that horse last year, while he also won with Delectation in 2015.

Freedman trains Santa Ana Lane and was successful with that horse in 2018. O’Brien prepared Glamour Puss in 2005 and has Graff this year.

Successful hoops include Mark Zahra, James McDonald, Ben Melham, Kerrin McEvoy and Hugh Bowman. Bowman rides Nature Strip this year, while Melham is on Santa Ana Lane. For fans of Nature Strip and Santa Ana Lane, no horse has won the race twice this millennium except for Black Caviar.

Finally, there has been no major advantage or disadvantage for horses that have drawn in or out. Since 2000, horses have been able to win from a variety of spots in this race.

Selection based on the Darley Sprint Classic winning trends.

Definitely looking at the Everest form here and Bivouac can overcome the moderate record of favourites by taking out the VRC Sprint Classic in 2020.



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