Australia is home to some of the best horse racing anywhere in the world. With Carnivals from Melbourne to Perth, which is the best to visit?
If you are planning on attending, we pick out our top carnivals that should be on the list of any horse racing fan – or racegoer who fancies a day out at the race.
Melbourne Cup Carnival
The biggest one of all for punters and Australian bookmakers alike, the Melbourne Cup Carnival is a week-long bonanza at Flemington in late October and early November. The Melbourne Cup, the race that stops a nation, is the pinnacle on the first Tuesday in September. But the carnival also hosts the Victoria Derby, VRC Oaks and Emirates Stakes among other races across the week.
Melbourne Spring Carnival
The Melbourne Cup is part of the Spring Carnival, but the wide festival runs from September through to November. Along with the Melbourne Cup, two other jewels of Australian racing take place with the running of the Caulfield Cup at Caulfield and the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. One big weekend of racing after another makes this is a must visit.
Sydney Autumn Carnival
Through March and April each year, Sydney hosts some of the best racing worldwide at the Autumn Carnival. Boasting one of the great races on the Australian calendar the Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens, the Sydney autumn is a must see set of six race days for thoroughbred enthusiasts. The culmination is The Championships, two consecutive Saturdays with eight Group 1 races including the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
There’s not a Group 1 in sight, but the Warrnambool Carnival should be visited once at least. A fantastic mixture of flat and jumps racing makes this a unique carnival. The Bool attracts huge crowds and you will only understand why when you experience a day for yourself.
Perth Summer Carnival
The Perth Summer Racing Carnival is Western Australia’s premier carnival and the country’s top summer festival. It is one-of-a-kind event in the world of global horse racing with the feature races across three weekends worth $1 million each. With the sun shining, Ascot Racecourse is the place to be in December.
Brisbane Winter Carnival
The Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival is Queensland’s top thoroughbred festival and the highlight of gallops action in Australia in the colder months. Highlighted by Stradbroke Handicap, which is the only race in Queensland with a seven-figure prize, and the Doomben 10,000, the action takes place at Doomben and Eagle Farm Racecourses.
Adelaide Racing Carnival
The Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival takes place at Morphettville Racecourse in April and May each year and is South Australia’s best action of the year. There are four Group 1 events across three weekends of the festival, headlined by The Goodwood. Black Caviar did some of her winning in Adelaide.
Magic Millions Carnival
The Magic Millions is one of the most unique carnivals that exists in Australia. It is not just about the racing, but also about the occasion on the Gold Coast and a week of sales. Only eligible to horses that are purchased through the Magic Millions sales, the 2YO Classic and 3YO Guineas are the two feature races. Celebrities and even royalty are known to attend.