2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival


The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the name given to the Australian thoroughbred horse racing series which takes place during the months of October and November each year. The carnival is without a doubt the main highlight on the Australian racing calendar, hosting the best of the best in Australian and International race horses. 

The carnival spans across 50 days in Spring, with world-class thoroughbred races being held at the major metropolitan race tracks, consisting of Flemington, Caulfield and Moonee Valley. The meetings held throughout this period are typically group one races, meaning the very best horses will go hoof to hoof against each other for a share in some of the biggest prize money in horse racing.

The spring carnival not only draws elite thoroughbreds, with the long list of prestigious race meetings also captivating the entire city of Melbourne. The carnival has grown into much more than horse racing, with an abundance of entertainment and attractions offered to attendees. 

The major racing carnival during the spring is the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival held at Flemington racecourse in early November. Flemington is home to Melbourne Cup Day on the first Tuesday of the month over a distance of 3200m (2 miles). The winner of the Cup will receive $4 million (plus $250,000 in trophies), second place $1 million, and third place $500,000.

The Birdcage has quickly become the place to be seen at Flemington, with this exclusive marquee enclosure, located adjacent the horse stalls, offering members and guests exclusive entertainment, prime viewing position of the track and the chance to mingle with the who’s who of Australian celebrities. 

Inside The Birdcage. Image: Lavazza

The Park returns to the 2018 carnival, offering free access to a fresh new line-up of musicians and street-food offerings, as well as the iconic Myer Fashions on the Field competition giving women, men and designers the chance to show off for their share in over $380,000 worth of prizes. The event will enter the digital age this year, with a photo-based competition set to revolutionise the world-famous institution of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. 

The multi-storied complex will feature some of the hottest acts in music, including Sam Smith, Amy Shark, The Presets, Miami Horror and Hayden James. 

Fashion on the Field. Image: National Museum of Australia.

The carnival has truly embraced the technological era, with the installation of 360 degree cameras positioned right around Flemington race course, providing Facebook users with spectacular views of all races, as well as a behind-the-scenes experience of the marquees, stables and mounting yards.

The three-day Caulfield Cup carnival kicks off big-time racing at Caulfield racecourse, taking place in the month of October. The Caulfield Cup is a tough Group One handicap event over 2400m and has since become the richest horse race of its type in the world (2,400 metre or 1​12 miles).

A $12.4 million prizemoney boost across the industry has seen the prize money for the Caulfield Cup soar from $3m in 2017 to $5m for the upcoming Cup. 

Spring prizemoney boost 2018 2017
Melbourne Cup $7.3m $6.2m
Caulfield Cup $5m $3m
Cox Plate $5m $3m
Victoria Derby $2m $1.5m
Moonee Valley Cup $500,000 $300,000

Sydney Morning Herald

The WS Cox Plate day takes places the following week at Moonee Valley. The race is run over 2040m in October and is widely recognised as the weight-for-age championship of Australasia, featuring horses aged strictly over three years old. 

The champion Australian race horse Winx has won the past three Cox Plates in succession during its 27-straight unbeaten record. Winx is expected to attract a record crowd this year with the seven-year old mare vying to win four straight Cox Plates.

Image result for winx cox plate
Winx wins fourth straight Cox Plate. Image: Just Horse Racing

Whether you are a racing fanatic or not, the 2018 Spring Carnival will offer the City of Melbourne $700 million annually to the economy as well as providing members of the public the chance to enjoy a memorable sporting and social occasion.

Spring Carnival Calendar

Event                                 Course                            Date

Turnbull Stakes                  Flemington                     October 6th 

Caulfield Guineas               Caulfield                         October 13th

Blue Saphires Stakes          Caulfield                        October 17th

Caulfield Cup                     Caulfield                        October 20th

Cox Plate                          Moonee Valley                October 27th

Derby Day                        Flemington                    November 3rd

Melbourne Cup                  Flemington                   November 6th

Oaks Day                          Flemington                   November 8th


Image: philovsky IG

A recent poll on my Instagram showed 56% of followers were interested in attending the Spring Carnival. I asked which carnival meeting people would prefer to attend, with the Caulfield Cup being the most popular choice 


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