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 $1,000,000 in prizemoney. The 2015 VRC Sprint Classic was won by Delectation from Chautauqua with Terravista 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. The race has been run as the 'Age Classic' and 'Patinack Farm Classic' in recent years.
This change complemented the addition of the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (formerly Ascot Vale Stakes) for 3yo's onto the Derby Day program. The race now attracts the best sprinters available including well performed three-year-olds from the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
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 Gr1 Manikato Stakes on Cox Plate eve and the Gr2 Salinger 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 Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes over 1200m at Ascot racecourse.
Delectation (2015) ran fourth in the Salinger Stakes over 1200m at Flemington before scoring an upset victory in this event and recent VRC Sprint Classic winners include Terravista (2014) and Buffering (2013).
2015 VRC Sprint Classic result
1. $14.00 Delectation 58.5 James McDonald
2. $1.90 Chautauqua 58.5 Dwayne Dunn
3. $9.50 Terravista 58.5 Hugh Bowman
Global Sprint Challenge
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 Gr1 Lightning Stakes held at Flemington in January and the Gr1 VRC Sprint Classic held on the final day of the Flemington spring carnival in November.
Global Sprint Challenge races Gr1 Lightning Stakes - Flemington Racecourse - Australia - January
Gr1 Dubai Golden Shaheen - Meydan racecourse - Dubai - March
Gr1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen - Chukyo racecourse - Japan - March
Gr1 Chairman's Sprint Prize - Sha Tin racecourse - Hong Kong - May
Gr1 King's Stand Stakes - Royal Ascot racecourse - England - June
Gr1 DIamond Jubilee Stakes - Royal Ascot racecourse - England - June
Gr1 July Cup - Newmarket Racecourse - England - July
Gr1 Sprinters Stakes - Nakayama Racecourse - Japan - October
Gr1 VRC Sprint Classic - Flemington Racecourse - Australia - November
Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint - Sha Tin Racecourse - 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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