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Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival | Guide

Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival | Guide

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is a period during spring in Melbourne where major Thoroughbred horse races take place.

Although racing in Australia is held every day except Good Friday and Christmas Day, the group one races in Melbourne are held almost exclusively throughout the carnival, which is conveniently placed between the football and cricket seasons.

During the winter (where football is dominant), and summer (where cricket is dominant), racing takes a 'back seat' position in relation to the cricket or footy in terms of media coverage and attendances. However, in spring and autumn, the mass media turns its attention to the racing. There is also a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, a time where group one races are also held.

Spring Racing Carnival


--> Caulfield Spring Racing Carnival
--> Moonee Valley Carnival (Cox Plate)
--> Flemington Spring Carnival

Spring Racing Carnival


Caulfield Carnival


The Melbourne Racing Club holds three race meetings at Caulfield, each with major group one races.

--> The Caulfield Guineas is held on the Saturday three weeks before the Victoria Derby. The guineas are a set-weights race for three year-olds. Other group one races are held on this day.
--> The Caulfield Thousand Guineas for three-year-old fillies is held on the Wednesday following the Saturday Caulfield Guineas.
--> The Caulfield Cup is held on the Saturday on the weekend following the Guineas meeting.

--> Caulfield Spring Racing Carnival

Moonee Valley Carnival


The Moonee Valley Racing Club is famous for its weight-for-age Cox Plate race, the meeting which is held on the Saturday following the Caulfield Cup. There is also a mid-week race meeting which is held by the club, either the week before or the week following the Plate weekend.

--> Moonee Valley Carnival

Flemington Spring Carnival


The Victoria Racing Club's meetings attract the most attention from the media and the wider community.

--> The Victoria Derby is held on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup. It is a set-weights three-year-old race for the male horses. There are also other major races held on this day as well, making it the biggest day in racing.
--> The Melbourne Cup handicap race is held on the first Tuesday in November (public holiday in Melbourne) witnessed by millions in Australia and around the world.
--> The VRC Oaks race is held on the Thursday following the Melbourne Cup is a three-year-old fillies race, traditionally known as 'ladies' day'.
--> The Stakes is held on the Saturday following the Oaks, and is traditionally it has been known as 'family day'.

--> Flemington Spring Carnival

Also see Spring Racing Carnival Flowers


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