Looking for early info on this year’s Darley Sprint Classic? The experts at Neds have put together everything you need to know before this year’s race.

Darley Classic

Also known as the VRC Sprint Classic, the Darley Classic is held on the last day of the coveted four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival in November each spring. Taking place on the Saturday after the Melbourne Cup is run and won on the first Tuesday of November, the Darley Sprint Classic is held over 1200m down the iconic ‘Straight Six’ at Flemington Racecourse. 

Offering $2 million in prize money, the weight-for-age feature draws a field of the season’s best sprinters, many of which may be coming out of the world’s richest turf race – the $15 million The Everest (1200m) held at Randwick the month before.

In 2017 Redzel completed The Everest – Darley Sprint Classic double winning the inaugural edition of the first leg. Nature Strip (2021) became the second horse in history to do the double when winning the Darley Classic for a second time.

The Everest also produced the following four Darley Sprint Classic winners with Santa Ana Lane (6th in 2018), Nature Strip (4th in 2019), Bivouac (2nd in 2020) and as mentioned above Nature Strip (1st in 2021).

If you’re looking for other good lead ins, then the Manikato Stakes is also worth following at The Valley two weeks earlier. 

Darley Classic 2021 – Quick Information

  • Race Day: Saturday, November 6th, 2021
  • Track Location: Flemington Racecourse
  • Track Surface: Turf
  • Track Direction: Left-handed
  • Race Distance: 1,200 metres
  • Weight Conditions: Weight for age
  • Qualification: Three year olds and over (excluding maidens)
  • Type: Thoroughbred
  • Grade: Group 1
  • Operator: Victoria Racing Club
  • Prize Purse: $2,000,000
  • Inaugural Race: 1960
  • 2021 Darley Sprint Classic Winner: Nature Strip

darley sprint classic 2021 RESULTS

The official 2021 Darley Sprint Classic results will be available below once the race takes place on Saturday November 6, 2021. 

  1. #1 Nature Strip
  2. #7 Swats That
  3. #6 Bella Nipotina

The Chris Waller-trained Nature Strip ($1.28F) enjoyed a second win in the Darley Sprint Classic 2021 results, the event’s 2019 champion and this year’s $15 million The Everest hero given a gun run down the centre of the track to win by a comprehensive three lengths ahead of a potential Royal Ascot bid in the UK next year.

Darley Classic Betting 2021

New Ways to Bet at neds

There are many different ways to bet on the Darley Classic, we’ve included some of the most popular options below:

Bet Type How To Place This Type Of Bet In This Year’s Darley Classic
Win Bet Place your bet on the horse you think will take first place in this year’s Darley Classic.
Place Bet Place your bet on the horse you think will place in the top three finishers at this year’s Darley Classic. Pays less than a win bet, but offers safer odds.
Each-Way Bet If your runner finishes 1st in the Darley Classic, you will collect both the Win and the Place dividend. If your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd you will collect the Place dividend.
Quinella Bet You must select the runners that finish 1st and 2nd in any order, within the Darley Classic, in order to win the Quinella.
Exacta Bet You must select the runners that finish 1st and 2nd in the correct order, within the Darley Classic to win the Exacta.
Trifecta Bet You must select runners to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the correct order, within the Darley Classic to win the Trifecta.
First Four You must select runners that finish 1st, 2nd ,3rd and 4th in the correct order, within the Darley Classic to win the First 4.
Quadrella Bet (Quaddie) You must select the winners of four nominated races to win the Quaddie. This means you would have to select three other races apart from the Darley Classic, in order to be eligible to place a Quaddie.

How To Bet On The Darley Classic in 2021

  1. Log in at neds.com.au
  2. Make sure to check out form guide, once it’s released
  3. Decide what kind of bet you’re going to place (Win, Place, Each-Way, Trifecta + more betting options, please read our section on Darley Classic Betting above).
  4. Select the horse(s) for the race.

Darley Sprint Classic 2022 Odds

Early market betting odds on the 2022 Darley Sprint Classic will be displayed below once available. Odds are subject to fluctuation. For current odds on all of our live markets, please visit neds.com.au.

Which Horse Will Win The Darley Classic in 2021

The best way to pick which horse will win the Darley Sprint Classic in 2021 is to take into account the form, assess the barriers and consider their past record at Flemington down the straight.

Additional factors to consider when picking the Darley Sprint Classic winner include:

  • Age – Most winners tend to be four years old of older. No three year old has won since Glamour Puss (2005).
  • Favourites – Favourites had a poor strike-rate in the event until the back-to-back wins by the favourites Bivouac (2020) and Nature Strip (2021). 
  • The Everest Lead-Up – The Everest in Sydney is now considered the key form race to follow into the VRC Sprint Classic with Redzel (2017) the first to do the double followed by Nature Strip (2021). Horses may also run in the previous Saturday’s Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes (1200m) with Glamour Puss (2005) the last to take out both races.

Darley Classic Favourites 2021

Early favourites in Darley Sprint Classic 2021 betting include the 2019 winner Nature Strip who ran second last year and Maniakto Stakes runner-up Bella Nipotina in ultra-consistent form. 

Redzel ($4 in 2017) followed by Bivouac ($3.20 in 2020) and Nature Strip ($1.28 in 2021) are the last Darley Sprint Classic favourites to win.

Darley Classic Field 2021

The official 2021 Darley Sprint Classic field of final acceptances is announced on the Wednesday leading-up to the race, the day after the Melbourne Cup, and will be published in full below.

Chris Waller’s The Everest champion and 2019 winner of the event Nature Strip headlines the Darley Sprint Classic 2021 final field at Flemington on Saturday.

Darley Classic 2021 Tips

Favourite: #1 Nature Strip ($1.35 at time of publish)

Best Bet: #1 Nature Strip to salute for the punters (see above)

Best Roughie: #3 Splintex ($19 at time of publish)

Our insider 2021 Darley Sprint Classic tips will be detailed above the week of the race and a full betting preview available on the Neds Blog.


Darley Classic Race Day 2021

The 2021 Darley Sprint Classic takes place on Saturday, the 6th of November, 2021 as one of the feature races of Flemington’s 2021 Mackinnon Stakes Day program. The other Group status races on the card include the:

Mackinnon Stakes Day in Melbourne takes place on the same date as Sydney’s $1 million Golden Gift race.

Darley Classic 2021 Nominations

The 2021 Darley Classic nominations close the Monday of race week and will be published below in full once released.

Chris Waller has entered five horses in the Darley Sprint Classic 2021 nominations including the race’s 2019 winner Nature Strip coming off a win in the $15 million The Everest in Sydney.

Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 336×312132 BELLA NIPOTINA M 4 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 106
2 30×1132 BRUCKNER C 3 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 99
3 5x60424x02 FLAT HEAVEN (FR) G 7 Bjorn Baker 82
4 2138×191 HOME AFFAIRS C 3 Chris Waller 110
5 818x2112x2 MALKOVICH H 4 Bjorn Baker 97
6 72x121x121 NATURE STRIP G 7 Chris Waller 120
7 5149x60x33 PRIME CANDIDATE G 7 Bjorn Baker 99
8 35x200x174 RANCH HAND C 3 Chris Waller 83
9 318x9838x4 RANTING (NZ) H 4 Leon & Troy Corstens 88
10 4925×13095 SAMIZDAT G 6 Chris & Michael Gangemi 97
11 x2048x3766 SEPTEMBER RUN M 4 Chris Waller 107
12 721610×579 SHAQUERO C 3 Chris Waller 88
13 x40168x414 SPLINTEX H 5 Mark Newnham 107
14 1167×28754 STREETS OF AVALON G 7 Shane Nichols 109
15 12x358x805 SWATS THAT M 4 Leon & Troy Corstens 101

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

Darley Classic 2021 Weights

Weight for age conditions apply to this race. Weights will be declared by 4 PM, Monday the 1st of November, 2021 and will be published in our above Darley Classic Field section.

Darley Classic 2021 Acceptances

Acceptances must be declared before 9:30 AM on Wednesday, the 3rd of November, 2021 and will be published in our above Darley Classic Field section. 

Darley Classic 2021 riders

Riders must be declared by 1 PM Wednesday, the 3rd of November, 2021 with the official list of 2021 Darley Classic jockeys to be published in our above Darley Classic Field section. 

Darley Classic Scratchings 2021

Scratchings close at 7:30 AM on Saturday, the 6th of November, 2021. 

Darley Classic Prize Money 2021

The Darley Classic prize purse is worth $2,000,000 in total, distributed from places first through to eighth.

Place Prize Money
1st $1,200,000
2nd $360,000
3rd $180,000
4th $90,00
5th $50,000
6th $40,000
7th $40,000
8th $40,000

Darley Classic Jockeys

Some of the most memorable Darley Classic jockeys of all time include Hugh Bowman, Damian Browne and Glen Boss. In the past decade, two jockeys have won the Darley Classic twice with Kerrin McEvoy and Ben Melham, while James McDonald enjoyed his third victory in 2021 on Nature Strip. 

Darley Classic Race Number 2021

The 2021 Darley Sprint Classic is set to run as Flemington Race 6 at 3:50pm (AEDT) on Saturday November 6, 2021, There are nine races in total that day at Flemington Racecourse.

Darley Classic 2021 Form Guide

The final form guide will be available the week of the race. You can check below for a link to our full 2021 Darley Spring Classic Form Guide following final acceptances. 


Darley Classic Live 2021

You can watch or listen to the 2021 Darley Classic live, across the following mediums.

Pay television: Sky Racing 1 (channel 526 on Foxtel)

Radio: Radio Sport National

Streaming: Racing.com

Darley Sprint Classic Winners

Winners of the VRC Sprint Classic going back to 2004 are displayed in the table below. If you would like to view the full list of Darley Classic winners, going all the way back to 1960, please visit our Darley Classic Winners page.

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Time
2021 Nature Strip Chris Waller James McDonald 1:08.78
2020 Bivouac James Cummings Glen Boss 1:08.69
2019 Nature Strip Chris Waller James McDonald 1:09.23
2018 Santa Ana Lane Anthony Freedman Mark Zahra 1:08.66
2017 Redzel Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 1:08.74
2016 Malaguerra Peter Gelagotis Ben Melham 1:10.25
2015 Delectation Chris Waller James McDonald 1:10.07
2014 Terravista Joseph Pride Hugh Bowman 1:08.79
2013 Buffering Robert Heathcote Damian Browne 1:10.36
2012 Mental Peter Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 1:09.04
2011 Black Caviar Peter Moody Luke Nolen 1:08.32
2010 Black Caviar Peter Moody Ben Melham 1:07.96
2009 All Silent Grahame Begg Nicholas Hall 1:08.78
2008 Swick Bart Cummings Michael Rodd 1:11.05
2007 Miss Andretti Lee Freedman Craig Newitt 1:08.93
2006 Magnus Peter Moody Luke Nolen 1:08.90
2005 Glamour Puss Danny O’Brien Steven King 1:08.92
2004 Fastnet Rock Paul Perry Glen Boss 1:09.08