Group One, $1 million, 1200m, weight-for-age
* First run in 1960 and won by Karina. Group One since 1979.
* Held on Victoria Derby day until 2007 when it was switched to the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
* Black Caviar won by four lengths in 2010, her first Group One. It was Ben Melham’s first and only ride on the champion mare.
* Notable winners: Vain (1969), Century (1973), Special (1988), Takeover Target (2004), Miss Andretti (2007), Black Caviar (2010, 2011) and Buffering in 2013.
* The vintage crop of three-year-old sprinting colts including Astern, Extreme Choice and Star Turn opted to race against their own age group in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes won by Flying Artie.
* Golden Slipper winner Capitalist was scratched from the Coolmore after suffering a stone bruise and has not recovered in time for Saturday’s race.
* Exciting Sydney sprinter Spieth won down the Flemington straight in June before returning to impressively win the Listed Lightning at Randwick on October 15.
* Can Lankan Rupee recapture the form which made him Australian racehorse of the year in 2013-14?
* Three of the past four Darley Classic winners’ lead-up race was the Manikato Stakes – Mental (2012), Buffering (2013) and Terravista (2014).
* Fell Swoop (2nd), Japonisme (3rd), The Quarterback (4th), English (equal 7th) and Holler (last) come out of the Manikato.
* Six mares have won since 1988 with Black Caviar the most recent. Two mares will run on Saturday – English and Sheidel.
* Last-start winner Our Boy Malachi is favourite after being supported from $6.50 into $4.60.
* Robbie Griffiths-trained Group One winner The Quarterback has been supported from $7.50 to $5.50 and shares favouritism with Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop has drifted to $6.50.
* If Lankan Rupee jumps at his current quote of $7, it will be his biggest starting price since he won the 2013 Kevin Heffernan Stakes paying $13.
* Schillaci Stakes runner-up Malaguerra has been backed from $13 to $8.50 during the week.
“I think the straight will suit him, albeit he’s never seen it and there’s always that question mark on it going there for the first time.” – Fell Swoop’s trainer Matthew Dale.
“Not at one stage did I think ‘I can’t wait to get down and run in that Darley Classic’ but that was definitely my long-range plan if he could do what he’s been doing.” – Trainer Bryce Heys on Spieth.
” I think he’s his old vibrant self and the only thing that may compromise him is that tough, hard race fitness.” – Trainer Mick Price on Lankan Rupee.