- Riff Rocket won the Victoria Derby in a photo finish
- Puglia rushed late, narrowly missed, Sunsets third
- First Derby triumph for hoops champ James McDonald
Riff Rocket won the Group 1 Victoria Derby in thrilling scenes at Flemington on Saturday.
With champion jockey James McDonald on board, the pre-race favorite was many punters’ choice ahead of the race, and he delivered after a photo finish.
Apulia was desperately unlucky to finish second after rushing in the final stride, with Sunsets securing third place.
Eager punters filed through the gates ahead of the first race at 12.20pm, where Kaizad, trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, won in an overflow.
Crowds continued to flock to the iconic sporting venue leading up to the main 2500m race at 4.20pm, with AFL stars such as Toby Greene and Bailey Smith spotted letting loose with others VIP guests.
Brooke Warne, daughter of the late spin king Shane Warne, was also seen on the runway, as was former reality TV star and author Pettifleur Berenger.
Champion jockey James McDonald rode Riff Rocket in the Victoria Derby – and attracted plenty of attention in the betting ring.
GWS star Toby Greene was spotted enjoying himself in Flemington – but only after promising his pregnant wife Georgia Stirton he would be “home at midnight”.
AFL cult hero Bailey Smith was impossible to miss in his gray suit (pictured)
This glamorous racing enthusiast turned plenty of heads with her trackside hat at Flemington
Punters filed through the gates ahead of the first race at 12.20pm on Saturday.
During the main race at 4.20pm, Flemington was packed with punters enjoying one of the best days on the Australian racing calendar.