Victoria Derby

Derby Day: Style and Elegance at the Spring Racing Carnival

Penfolds Derby Day is an annual event epitomising style, sophistication, and a world of luxury, making it a must-attend day of the Spring Racing Carnival. Derby Day is perfect for everyone to dress up and enjoy a day at the races, featuring top-class horse racing, a vibrant atmosphere, and stunning fashion.

Victoria Derby Day Race Details

DateNovember 4th, 2023
Main Race TimeTBC
Racecourse LocationFlemington
Race Distance2500 Metres
Weather ConditionsToo early to tell
Caulfield Cup Prize Money$2,000,000
First Race12:20 pm
Last Race5:40 pm

Derby Day Featured RacesDistance
Network 10 Carbine Cup Stakes (Group 3)1600m
Lexus Archer Stakes (Group 3)2500m
TAB Wakeful Stakes (Group 2)2000m
The Damien Oliver (Group 2)1400m
TAB Empire Rose Stakes (Group 1)1600m
Penfold Victoria Derby (Group 1)2500m
Coolmore Stud Stakes (Group 1)1200m
Racing and Sports Fast Stakes (Group 3)1200m
Furphy Sprint (Group 3)1100m

History of Derby Day

From the Early Days to Today’s Fashion Extravaganza

Derby Day traces back to 1861 when the first Victoria Derby was held at the Flemington Racecourse. 

Over the years, the event has evolved from purely horse racing to a full-blown fashion extravaganza, and now, Derby Day is not just about the races but also about showcasing the latest fashion trends and competing for coveted prizes in various fashion categories.

The Victoria Derby, a race restricted to specific age groups, had its inaugural run in 1855, with the first official race meeting in Melbourne dating back to 1840.

From 1855 to 1971, the Derby was a 1 ½-mile event, but with the introduction of metric measurements in 1972, it was reduced to 2400 metres, effectively shortening the race by about two strides. However, due to safety concerns related to the short run to the first turn at this distance, the course was extended to 2,500 metres in, which has remained this length.

The race remained a Principal Race until the Group Classification system was adopted; it was first run as a Group 1 event in 1979.

The track record for the 2500-metre distance, as of 2022, is 2:33.60, set by Star Of The Realm in 1991.

There was a time from 1931 to 1956 when geldings were barred from the race, and was also won by fillies in its first three years and last by Frances Tressady in 1923.

Interestingly, only four horses, all considered New Zealand-bred, have won the Victoria Derby in their debut race, with the most recent being Preferment in 2014.

How to Get Derby Day Tickets

Everything You Need to Know

Derby Day tickets can be purchased online through the official Spring Racing Carnival website or other authorised ticketing partners. General admission tickets usually go on sale several months before the event, while reserved seating and hospitality packages can be purchased even earlier. So be sure to buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment, as the Derby Day event often sells out quickly.

To buy tickets to the Victorian Derby Day, check the VRC website.

Derby Day Fashion

Trends and Tips for the Perfect Outfit

Derby Day is known for its strict black-and-white dress code. When choosing your outfit, consider incorporating classic pieces with contemporary trends for a chic and stylish look. Ladies can opt for tailored dresses, jumpsuits, or separates, while men can don tailored suits or tuxedos. Don’t forget to accessorise with a statement hat or fascinator for women and a pocket square, tie, bowtie, or hat for men.

The Fashion Stakes: Competitions and Prizes

Derby Day hosts a range of fashion competitions, including the famous “Fashions on the Field”. Fashions on the Field participants are judged on their style, originality, and adherence to the dress code. Winners can walk away with fabulous prizes, so don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your style on the stage.

Betting on Derby Day

For those who want to try their luck at the races, familiarising yourself with the types of bets and the race schedule is essential. Researching the horses, jockeys, and trainers to make informed decisions is always worthwhile. Or, to save you time and hassle, we do this every year to ensure you are spending your time wisely; you can find the tips and race information at the top of this page. Finally, remember to set a budget and gamble responsibly.

Hospitality at Derby Day

Dining and Drinking Options

Derby Day offers a range of hospitality options to suit different preferences and budgets. There’s something for everyone, from fine-dining restaurants to casual eateries where you can even snag a hotdog. Choose from various food and beverage packages, or purchase drinks and snacks at the venue’s many bars and food outlets. However, I suggest booking a hospitality package if you want to cut the queue and not wait in a huge line for one of the food stands.

Getting to Flemington Racecourse

Located in Melbourne, Australia, Flemington Racecourse is easily accessible by public transport, including trains, trams, and buses. Alternatively, you can opt for a taxi or ride-sharing service. Parking is available at the venue but is limited and fills up quickly, so consider arriving early or using public transport to avoid delays.

Why Derby Day is a Must-Attend Event of the Spring Racing Carnival

Reasons to Go

Derby Day is a unique event that combines the excitement of horse racing with the glamour of high fashion. 

Visitors can enjoy a day filled with exciting races, stunning outfits, and a lively atmosphere. 

It’s the perfect opportunity to socialise with friends and family, make new acquaintances, and revel in the elegance of the Spring Racing Carnival. 

With delicious food and drinks, fantastic entertainment, and the chance to participate in or watch fashion competitions, Derby Day is a must-attend event for anyone who loves style, elegance, and a day at the races.

  1. Experience high fashion: Derby Day is a showcase for elegant and sophisticated fashion, with a strict black-and-white dress code that encourages creativity and style.
  2. The horse races: Derby Day features several high-stakes races, including the prestigious Victoria Derby, offering excitement and entertainment for racing enthusiasts.
  3. Socialise and network: Derby Day is a perfect opportunity to meet new people, catch up with friends and family, or network with other attendees in a vibrant and stylish atmosphere.
  4. Participate in fashion competitions: With events like Fashions on the Field, attendees can compete for prizes and showcase their personal style on the big stage.
  5. Enjoy fine dining and drinks: Derby Day offers a range of dining and drinking options to suit all tastes and budgets, allowing you to indulge in delicious food and beverages throughout the day.
  6. Immerse yourself in a lively atmosphere: The excitement of the races and the glamour of the fashion scene create an energetic and unforgettable atmosphere.
  7. Be part of a long-standing tradition: Derby Day has a rich history dating back to 1861, making it an iconic event that brings together horse racing and fashion enthusiasts worldwide.



1300 727 575


(03) 8378 0888

International callers:

+61 (3) 9140 4821



General enquiries:


448 Epsom Road, Flemington Victoria 3031

Derby Day FAQs

What is the dress code for Derby Day? 

Derby Day has a strict black-and-white dress code. Women typically wear tailored dresses, jumpsuits, or separates, accessorized with hats or fascinators. Men usually wear tailored suits, tuxedos, pocket squares, or ties.

When does Derby Day take place? 

Derby Day is held on the first Saturday of November each year as part of the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne, Australia.

How do I purchase Derby Day tickets? 

Tickets can be purchased online through the official Spring Racing Carnival website or other authorized ticketing partners.

Can I place bets on Derby Day? 

Yes, there are various betting options available at Derby Day, including placing bets on horses, jockeys, and trainers.

Are there any special events or competitions on Derby Day? 

Derby Day is known for its fashion competitions, such as Fashions on the Field, where participants compete for prizes based on their style, originality, and adherence to the dress code.

What are the dining and drinking options at Derby Day? 

There are numerous dining and drinking options available at Derby Day, ranging from fine dining restaurants to casual eateries and bars. You can choose from various food and beverage packages or purchase items individually.

How do I get to Flemington Racecourse? 

Flemington Racecourse is easily accessible via public transport, including trains, trams, and buses. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service. Limited parking is available at the venue.

Previous Winners

  • 2022 Manzoice
  • 2021 Hitotsu
  • 2020 Johnny Get Angry
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  • 2016 Prized Icon
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  • 2014 Preferment
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