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First declarations taken for Penfolds Victoria Derby and Kennedy Oaks

19 October 2021 Written by VRC

First declarations have closed for the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s three-year-old staying features, the Group 1 Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m) and the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m).

Thirty eight horses remain in contention in the time-honoured $2 million Penfolds Victoria Derby while 22 horses remain in the $1 million Kennedy Oaks, a race restricted to three-year-old fillies.

The Penfolds Victoria Derby is currently headlined by Group 2 winner Forgot You who was an eye-catching sixth in the Caulfield Guineas. Ahead of him in that race was fellow Derby aspirant Hitotsu, with both colts expected to line up in the Moonee Valley Vase this Saturday.

While rare for a filly to run in the Penfolds Victoria Derby, Danny O’Brien has kept his talented filly El Patroness among the nominations after her strong third placing behind Derby runner Gunstock in the Caulfield Classic on Saturday.

Like El Patroness, stablemate Blackcomb and Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young’s filly Glint of Hope are also dual nominated for the Penfolds Victoria Derby and Kennedy Oaks.

The Kennedy Oaks first declarations feature the trifecta from the Group 1 Thousand Guineas in Yearning, Elusive Express and Barb Raider.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Executive General Manger Racing Leigh Jordon said the three-year-old staying races were full of talent.

“There is a great depth of talent among our three-year-old staying ranks, particularly in the Penfolds Victoria Derby where some standout performers from the Caulfield Guineas in Hitotsu and Forgot You are all still in contention,” Mr Jordon said.

“Adding extra intrigue to the Penfolds Victoria Derby is the nomination of three fillies El Patroness, Glint of Hope and Blackcomb. No filly has won the race since Frances Tressady in 1923 so it would be a remarkable achievement to win.

“If those fillies decide to run in the Kennedy Oaks it will still set up as a cracking race against Yearning, Elusive Express and even Ethereal Stakes winner Daisies.”

The 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 30 October, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 2 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 4 November and Mackinnon Stakes Day on Saturday 6 November.

Revel in spirit of Cup Week with the 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival broadcast live and free on Network 10 and streamed on 10 Play.

The full list of first declarations for the Penfolds Victoria Derby and Kennedy Oaks can be found here.

Image: El Patroness is one of three fillies nominated in both the Penfolds Victoria Derby and Kennedy Oaks (Credit: Racing Photos)