Spring Racing Carnival

Published on April 8, 2019

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the highlight of the racing year, bringing Australian and International thoroughbreds together for 86 days of world-class action from Saturday the 31st of August through to Sunday the 24th of November. The carnival is traditionally placed between the AFL (winter) and cricket (summer) seasons for the purposes of media coverage and attendances with the major race days taking place in October and November.

Although not all events hold the same prestige, each event in the Spring Racing Carnival holds significance as the calendar stretches across 136 different race meetings. Over 650 thousand people flock to the racetrack during this period to watch some of the world’s best horses, trainers, jockeys and their high profile influential owners compete for more than $80 million in prize money.

The carnival has something for everyone, whether that’s the iconic race days at Caulfield, Moonee Valley and Flemington, or the festivities at the major country cups of Ballarat, Geelong, Cranbourne and Bendigo. Fans from all over Victoria gather to be part of these exciting events, and for many it is more about the fashion than the racing.

After the Victorian Racing Club included a fashion contest to the program in 1962, the Spring Racing Carnival events (in particular the Melbourne Cup) have evolved into an unparalleled annual fashion spectacle. From fascinators to floral arrangements in black, white or the brightest of colours, the Spring Racing Carnival ‘Fashions on the Field’ segment has helped to create jobs for thousands of people in preparation for this event.

Whether you are an experienced Spring Racing specialist, or just interested in what it is all about, there are a multitude of opportunities for you to go along and experience it for yourself. The major events of the Spring Racing Carnival are listed below:

Event Date Location
Memsie Stakes Day Saturday 31st August Caulfield Racecourse
Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes Saturday 7th September Mooney Valley Racecourse
Makybe Diva Stakes Saturday 14th September Flemington Racecourse
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Saturday 21st September Caulfield Racecourse
Underwood Stakes Saturday 28th September Caulfield Racecourse
Turnbull Stakes Saturday 5th October Flemington Racecourse
Caulfield Guineas Saturday 12th October Caulfield Racecourse
Thousand Guineas Saturday 12th October Caulfield Racecourse
Cranbourne Cup Day Sunday 13th October Cranbourne Racecourse
Ladies Day/Vase Day Wednesday 16th October Caulfield Racecourse
Caulfield Cup Day Saturday 19th October Caulfield Racecourse
Geelong Cup Day Wednesday 23rd October Geelong Racecourse
Manikato Stakes Friday 25th October Mooney Valley Racecourse
Cox Plate Day Saturday 26th October Mooney Valley Racecourse
Bendigo Cup Wednesday 30th October Bendigo Racecourse
Victoria Derby Day Saturday 2nd November Flemington Racecourse
Melbourne Cup Day Tuesday 5th November Flemington Racecourse
VRC Kennedy Oaks Thursday 7th November Flemington Racecourse
Emirates Stakes Saturday 9th November Flemington Racecourse
Sandown/Zipping Classic Saturday 16th November Sandown Racecourse
Ballarat Cup Saturday 23rd November Ballarat Racecourse

By: Shane Asbury, Sports Editor

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