- Riff Rocket won the Victoria Derby in a photo finish
- Apulia lunged late, just missed out, Sunsets third
- First Derby triumph for champion hoop James McDonald
Riff Rocket has won the Group 1 Victoria Derby in thrilling scenes at Flemington on Saturday.
With champion jockey James McDonald on board, the pre-race favourite was the choice for many punters pre-race, and he delivered following a photo finish.
Apulia was desperately unlucky to finish second after lunging in the last stride, with Sunsets securing third.
The victory was master trainer Chris Waller’s third Victoria Derby, with McDonald snaring yet another Group 1.
The Kiwi hoop also won the Cox Plate on board Romantic Warrior and the Group 2 Mooney Valley Cup to ensure his dominance in the Spring Carnival.
Champion jockey James McDonald rode Riff Rocket in the Victoria Derby – and attracted plenty of attention in the betting ring before winning in a photo finish
The victory was master trainer Chris Waller’s third Victoria Derby, who was understandably all smiles after taking home $2million in prizemoney
GWS star Toby Greene was spotted enjoying himself at Flemington – but only after promising his pregnant wife Georgia Stirton he’d be ‘home by midnight’
AFL cult hero Bailey Smith was impossible to miss in his sharp grey suit (pictured)
This glamorous race-goer turned plenty of heads with her hat trackside at Flemington
Punters made their way through the gates ahead of the first race at 12.20pm on Saturday
Come the feature race at 4.20pm, Flemington was packed with punters enjoying one of the best days on the Australian racing calendar
Eager punters made their way through the gates ahead of the first race at 12.20pm, where the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Kaizad won in a boilover.
The crowd continued to swell into the iconic sporting venue leading into the feature race over 2500m at 4.20pm, with AFL stars such as Toby Greene and Bailey Smith spotted letting their hair down with other VIP guests.
Brooke Warne, daughter of the late spin king Shane Warne, was also seen trackside as was one-time reality TV star and author Pettifleur Berenger.
MORE TO COME