Horse racing is a major sport in Australia which is evident by how widespread it is. Most of the major cities around the country host some kind of carnival celebrating horse racing and sparing no expense to make sure it is an extravaganza for everyone involved, be it owners, jockeys or spectators.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is where everyone culminates together to see the greatest horses in the world vie for the enviable Cup. On the main day, the first Tuesday of November every year, is the ‘race that stops the nation’. The Melbourne Cup Carnival hosts some of the greatest horse races in the world, beginning with the Victoria Derby and ending with the Mackinnon Stakes. All these events take place at Flemington Racecourse in the suburb of Flemington in Melbourne. Several horse racing events take place here but the Melbourne Cup Carnival is the quintessential event to attend. If you buy tickets early then you can get in on the games in person.
The Caulfield Racecourse, which is located in the southeastern suburbs of Melbourne, is also host to many important races on the horse racing calendar including the Caulfield Cup, the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Oakleigh Plate. Moonee Valley Racecourse is also home to races that are considered important in the racing community.
Sydney’s Racing Carnival is host to many exciting races including The Everest which is the richest horse race in the world. The total prize money currently is $15,000,000 which is nothing to be sneezed at for owners and trainers. Most of the main races take place at Randwick Racecourse which is just a few kilometres south of the Sydney CBD. The track at Randwick was opened in 1883 and has been host to some of the biggest Group 1 horse races since then including the Sydney Cup, the Australian Derby, the Doncaster Handicap and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Although not as popular as the Melbourne Cup Carnival, it certainly draws a massive crowd every year.
The state of Western Australia has been on the outside of horse racing due to the distance it is from the main cities that host major horse racing events. However, Perth has its own major horse racing event in the name of the Railway Stakes which has become a big player in the world of horse racing since its inception in 1887. Railway Stakes betting is a popular activity during the Perth Racing Carnival as is the variety of fashions that are on display.
Eagle Farm is where all the major horse races are run in Queensland and has been since 1865. The venue is heritage listed due to its age and is considered to be one of the premier racecourses in the state. The racecourse has had many upgrades over the years including the Paddock Stand in 1889, the St Leger Stand in 1913 (with extensions in 1938), the Totalisator Building in 1913 (with extensions in the 1920s and 1950s), the entrance gates in 1913, ticket boxes in 1914, the Members’ Stand in 1925 and the John Power Stand in 1958. The venue has a rich ongoing history beginning with the first race in 1865 which will continue on into the future.
With so many incredible racecourses around the country, it is easy to see how the sport of horseracing has such a large Australian following.