Have you emerged from our dreary winter yet? Spring is a welcome change after several months that delivered the coldest days since 2014 and wettest days since 2016, according to BOM. If not, Spring Racing Carnival 2022 has come just in time.
Finally breaking free of Covid restrictions, the Spring Racing Carnival is back and better than ever. The world-class horse racing carnival will host numerous events in Melbourne. So it’s time to dust off the diary.
The event is so big that even celebrities like Paris Hilton and Eva Longoria have taken part as special judges. You don’t even have to like horse racing to have some fun.
Spring Racing Carnival, particularly Melbourne Cup, attracts people for the fashion and social events, as much as the horse racing. So, if you want to be a part of the biggest social event on the calendar, mark out some dates from now til mid-November.
Here is what’s happening on the best horse racing calendar Australia has to offer.
The 2022 Caulfield Cup is the best way to kickstart spring and get carried away in the festivities. This year the event takes place at the Members’ Reserve and The Field. The new location within the Eastern Events Deck entertains over twenty thousand people in a day.
Festivities, fashion, food and drinks alongside exciting races are what attract racegoers and people who just want to be a part of Caulfield Cup race day on 15 October. Grab your race buddy and head down to Carlton Draught Live Stage for some amazing acts, or grab a drink at the Carlton Draught Beer Garden.
The four premium marquees this year are The Avenue, Bar Apperitivo, St.Hubert’s and Champagne House, presented by Moët & Chandon. To elevate your carnival experience, even more, you can book the Platinum Lounge for Caulfield Guineas Day and Caulfield Cup Day or enjoy fine dining with incredible racetrack views at the Black Caviar restaurant.
The first race in The Valley happened in 1883 and has only gotten better with the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival over two days this year. The two premier races are the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night on Friday, 21 October, and the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day featuring one of Australia’s best horse races on Saturday, 22 October.
After two years without crowds, the carnival is making up for it this year, with lots of entertainment, racing guests, food trucks, bars, unique dining and more! Guests will be entertained with the sounds of The Sam Ludeman Band, The Furnace and the Fundamentals and former jockey Robbie Dolan.
When it comes to hospitality, the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival has many packages to choose from, starting at $55, up to $980, available both for the public and members only.
If you want to get into the Carnival spirit earlier, you can attend lead-up events like Breakfast with the best on Tuesday, October 18 and the annual Barrier Draw Breakfast on the same day. Wednesday, October 19, is reserved for Ladies Lunch presented by 3 Point Motors.
Melbourne Cup Carnival
Melbourne Cup Carnival is the highlight of Melbourne’s Spring Racing, hosted by the VRC (Victoria Racing Club). The event is held at Flemington Racecourse and it’s Australia’s most famous annual horse race.
From international food, fashion, culture, wine, racing and entertainment, the world-class event is so big that each of the four race days has a different name. Make sure to attend, as everyone will be talking about the party atmosphere of the year.
Derby Day is arguably the most popular racing day in Spring as Flemington Racecourse turns into a sea of black and white outfits. Taking place on Saturday, October 29, prize money for the contestants is $2 million, making Victoria Derby Day a key race of the year.
Racing fans can enjoy exciting and elite meetings of Group 1 races, including the $2 million Kennedy Cantala, $1.5 million Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) for three-year-olds, $1 million TAB Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) for the fillies and mare and the feature race, the $2 million Penfolds Victoria Derby.
Partygoers will also get to have fun at The Park Live Stage. There are many artists lined up for the day, starting with electronic DJ Sgt Slick, followed by KLP & Stace Cadet duo. Pop-phenomenon Baker Boy will headline the Victoria Derby Day, starting at 5.50 pm.
Melbourne Cup Day
Come November 1, Melbourne Cup Day takes over the glory. The public holiday event attracts a crowd of over 100,000 to Flemington Racecourse to watch “the race that stops a nation”. The Lexus Melbourne Cup Day frenzy will make you want to bet on the race or enter into a sweep just to be part of the atmosphere.
Dress up in your best and brightest, but book in advance as this is Australia’s most popular fashion and racing event.
If you’re lucky enough to get an invite to the Birdcage, you’ll enjoy champagne and gourmet finger food in one of the many marquees on the Flemington Racecourse. No doubt you’ll meet local celebrities, and you may even spot national and international celebrities. Lock in your VIP tickets.
Thursday, November 3 is for Oaks Day – otherwise known as Ladies Day. Racegoers and the party crowd dress up to celebrate elegance, grace and femininity, which is the tradition of the event. There is even a “Fashion on the Fields” event where winners could go home with prizes worth thousands of dollars.
Starting at 5 pm is the $1 million Group 1 Kennedy Oaks, a true staying race for the true staying test for three-year-old fillies.
General admission is $60 and $31 for concession card holders. When you get the munchies, there is food available on every corner, but you can bring your own and make it a picnic on the lawn.
As for the entertainment, The Park Live Stage has a lot of artists lined up, starting with DJ Sunshine and her Disco Faith 8-person Choir. Sneaky Sound System will entertain the crowds from 3.10 pm till 3.55 pm while headliners Carl Cox and Eric Powell will share the best of their house tracks until 6.30 pm.
The final day of Australia’s biggest social and racing event takes place on Saturday, November 5. Stakes Day is also known as “Family Day” since there are many events for children and families throughout the day.
Stakes Day features the $3 million Group 1 TAB Champions Stakes (2000m), $3 million Group 1 Darley Champions Sprint (1200m) and $3 million Group 1 Kennedy Champions Mile (1600m).
Food lovers will be happy to know that the event hosts the trendiest eateries, like the new Skyline Lounge and Villa Paradiso in the Birdcage.
This year the crowd will dance to the sounds of Teddy Cream, Crooked Colours and Australia’s most popular contemporary rock bands, Birds of Tokyo, who will get the chance to close out the popular Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Regional Race Days
There are 66 racing clubs in Victoria, and each one is different in terms of food, racing style, celebration and landscape. The Country Races Victoria is more than races. For those willing to travel away from the city, there are events filled with action, fashion and entertainment for all ages.
Cup Days start on Wednesday, October 19 and go well until May with the Grand Annual Day.
Families and friends gather for a picnic at a Country Cup, and fashionistas dress up to compete in “Fashions on the Field” in the hope of winning incredible prizes. Those who take part in the Regional Race Days solely for the music can enjoy live music concerts. It is fun for everyone, even the little ones.
Jockey Into Position
The Spring Racing Carnival is huge not only in Victoria but around Australia too. If you are travelling, make sure to book your accommodation in advance. If you are attending the Cox Plate in Moonee Valley or looking forward to the Flemington Race Track for the Melbourne Cup Carnival, check out The Sebel Melbourne Moonee Ponds, which is located at the centre of all the action.