Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival kicks off with the day the purists pick as the best Australian racing has to offer. Derby Day features four top-rated Group 1 races, all worth more than $500,000 and culminating in the Mackinnon Stakes and the AAMI Victoria Derby. For the fashion conscious, it’s a chance to set the tone for the spring.
The Derby itself is a 2,500m test for the best three-year-old horses in the country, and while the field is yet to be finalised, a few names stick out. Kiwi colt It’s a Dundeel will look to make it three in a row for NZ horses after the successes of Sangster in 2011 and Lion Tamer in 2010, and is undefeated in four career starts. Jimando is also being talked about as a potential winner and future star, and you can’t write off All Too Hard, better known as Black Caviar’s half-brother. But beware the crowd crush. Its Saturday setting and the potential for early November sun can make it the hottest ticket in town.