The New Zealand Derby, New Zealand's most renowned race, is a thoroughbred race for 3-year-olds and over, run at Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland. It is a set-weight race and run over a mile and a half. The race is run on the first Saturday each March and is the opener for the Auckland Cup Week. The purse is NZ$700,000.
The Derby was run for the first time in May of 1875. Only 3 horses ran - one failed to start, the other was withdrawn before the race, which meant the rather dubious "winner" was a horse called Toi. In 1887 The Derby was renamed the ARC Great Northern Derby. This race kept this name until 1973 when the Great Northern Derby was renamed the New Zealand Derby.
Some of New Zealand's best known racehorses have won the Derby. Previous champs include Desert Gold, Balmerino and Bonecrusher.