The VRC Sprint Classic is a Group 1 weight-for-age race held at Flemington racecourse during the Melbourne spring racing carnival in November. The race is run over a distance of 1200 metres and worth $2,000,000 in prize money. The 2019 VRC Sprint Classic was won by Nature Strip from Loving Gaby with In Her Time third.
The VRC Sprint Classic race conditions altered in 2007 when it changed from a 'handicap' to 'weight-for-age' and the race was moved to Emirates Stakes Day to align with the Global Sprint Challenge.
This change complemented the addition of the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (formerly Ascot Vale Stakes) for three-year-olds onto the Derby Day program. The race now attracts the best sprinters available, including well performed three-year-olds from the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
It's been run as the 'Age Classic' and 'Patinack Farm Classic' in recent years and currently goes around as the 'Darley Classic'.
|Date:||Saturday 6th November 2021|
|Track:||Flemington racecourse, Melbourne|
|2019 Winner:||Nature Strip|
|VRC Sprint Classic odds|
The VRC Sprint Classic has changed in recent times to make it more attractive to international horses as part of the Global Sprint Challenge, and it also provides a good race for three-year-olds who back up after contesting the Coolmore Stud Stakes over the same course and distance on Derby day.
Run down the Flemington straight course with no turns involved, the VRC Sprint Classic is a true speed test where stamina is also required to run out a strong 1200 metres. It has been won by some of Australia's best sprinters over the years. Races such as the Group 1 Manikato Stakes on Cox Plate eve and the Gr2 Linlithgow Stakes on Derby Day are ideal lead up races to this event.
The VRC Sprint Classic is a the premier weight-for-age sprint race of the Fleminton spring racing carnival and interestingly enough the winner has broken the Flemington 1200 metres track record multiple times since 1991, which shows the type of class required to claim this event.
To win the VRC Sprint Classic, a horse has to possess both speed to take up a prominent position and strength at the finish when the pressure is on and it's no surprise that only high class gallopers win this event, as history certainly shows.
Brilliant gallopers to to win the VRC Sprint Classic include Buffering (2013), Black Caviar (2010-11), Miss Andretti (2007), Takeover Target (2005), Hareeba (1994), Special (1988), River Rough (1983-84), Maybe Mahal (1976), Century (1973) and Vain (1969).
Buffering travelled to Perth later in the month to win the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes over 1200m at Ascot racecourse.
Santa Ana Lane (2018) ran sixth in the Sydney Sweepstakes race over 1200m at Randwick before returning to Melbourne to win this Group 1 event in slashing style for trainer Anthony Freedman.
Recent VRC Sprint Classic winners include Redzel (2017) and Malaguerra (2016).
1. $3.60 Nature Strip 58.5 James McDonald
2. $7.50 Loving Gaby 51.5 Craig Williams
3. $12.00 In Her Time 56.5 Brenton Avdulla
4. $10.00 Alizee 56.5 Hugh Bowman
5. $2.15 Santa Ana Lane 58.5 Mark Zahra
6. $20.00 Zoutori 58.5 Damian Lane
7. $91.00 Malibu Style 58.5 Damien Oliver
8. $41.00 The Bostonian 58.5 Dwayne Dunn
9. $71.00 Rock Magic 58.5 Jarrad Noske
Margins: 3.25 len, 0.75 len
The VRC Sprint Classic Stakes is the second-last leg of the 'Global Sprint Challenge' which is a series of ten sprint races run in Hong Kong, Australia, England, Japan, Singapore and Dubai. The Australian legs of the series are the Group 1 Lightning Stakes held at Flemington in January and the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic held on the final day of the Flemington spring carnival in November.
Group 1 Lightning Stakes - Flemington - Australia - January
Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen - Meydan (Dubai) - March
Group 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen - Chukyo (Japan) - March
Group 1 Chairman's Sprint Prize - Sha Tin (Hong Kong) - May
Group 1 King's Stand Stakes - Royal Ascot (England) - June
Group 1 DIamond Jubilee Stakes - Royal Ascot (England) - June
Group 1 July Cup - Newmarket - (England) July
Group 1 Sprinters Stakes - Nakayama (Japan) - October
Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic - Flemington (Australia) - November
Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint - Sha Tin (Hong Kong) - December
The Champion Sprinter trophy is awarded to the connections of the horse that accumulates 42 points or more in a single season, and participates in challenge races in at least three countries. Challenge winners since the Global Series inception have been Cape of Good Hope (2005), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007) Apache Cat (2008), Scenic Blast (2009) and Starspangledbanner (2010).
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|2019||Nature Strip||Loving Gaby||In Her Time||1:09.2|
|2018||Santa Ana Lane||In Her Time||Pierata/Jungle Cat||1:08.6|
|2013||Buffering||Shamexpress||Moment Of Change||1:10.3|
|2012||Mental||Sea Siren||Hallowell Belle||1:09.0|
|2011||Black Caviar||Buffering||Mid Summer Music||1:08.3|
|2010||Black Caviar||Star Witness||Ortensia||1:07.9|
|2009||All Silent||Wanted||Bank Robber||1:08.7|
|2007||Miss Andretti||Gold Edition||Stanzout||1:08.9|
|2006||Dance Hero||Shadoways||Miss Andretti||1:08.6|
|2005||Glamour Puss||Barely A Moment||Cape Of Good Hope||1:08.9|
|2004||Takeover Target||Recurring||St Basil||1:08.2|
|2003||Ancient Song||Into The Night||Blessum||1:11.0|
|2002||Rubitano||Intelligent Star||Cosmic Strike||1:07.1|
|2000||Easy Rocking||Umrum||Tilt The Scales||1:10.0|
|1996||Gold Ace||Seika||Masked Party||1:07.5|
|1995||Brawny Spirit||Sword||Racers Edge||1:08.4|
|1992||Unspoken Word||Tanjian Prince||Ghost Story||1:10.6|
|1991||Final Card||Barrosa Boy||Mr Tiz||1:07.8|
|1990||Planet Ruler||Redelva||Gypsy Rogue||1:08.1|
|1989||Planet Ruler||Heavenly View||Glenview||1:08.3|
|1988||Special||Prismatic Star||Our Westminster||1:09.9|