The Spring Racing Carnival is the biggest annual racing event in Australia, featuring a large number of Group 1 races run at various tracks in and around the city of Melbourne.
This racing festival is scheduled between the football and cricket seasons, which ensures it gets widespread attention from the media and general public.
The Melbourne Cup is considered to be the highlight of the Spring Racing Carnival.
Spring Racing Carnival locations
The Spring Racing Carnival is hosted by the following racecourses in and around Melbourne:
- Caulfield Racecourse
- Geelong Racecourse
- Moonee Valley Racecourse
- Bendigo Racecourse
- Flemington Racecourse
- Sandown Racecourse
Racing moves between these courses during the Spring Racing Carnival. The Group 1 Turnbull Stakes launches the festival at Flemington Racecourse, and the Sandown Carnival brings the Spring Racing Carnival to a close on Eclipse Stakes Day.
Spring Racing Carnival races
A number of Australia’s most important races are run during the Spring Racing Carnival. Key races include:
- the Caulfield Guineas
- the Caulfield Stakes
- the Caulfield Thousand Guineas
- the Caulfield Cup
- the Cox Plate
- the Victoria Derby
- the Melbourne Cup
- the VRC Oaks
- the VRC Stakes.
In addition to being important races in their own right, the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup also act as qualifiers for the Melbourne Cup, with the winners of either race qualifying for automatic inclusion in the final Melbourne Cup field.
Spring Racing Carnival attendances
The Spring Racing Carnival is the best attended racing series in the world. Over half a million spectators attend the Melbourne Cup Festival, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate annually, with crowds over 90,000 typical of major race days at Flemington in November. The Spring Racing Carnival is also one of Australia’s most important fashion events, and attracts a number of international celebrities every year.