Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival 2019: The Races That Stop The Nation
Once the cold and rainy days have disappeared and the sun is out to stay, the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is one of the city's top events to get behind. With several events taking place at the state's top racecourses throughout October and November, the Spring Racing Carnival culminates with four action-packed days at Flemington Race Course as the Melbourne Cup Carnival sees tens of thousands of punters turn out for the highest stake events on Melbourne's calendar. From your outstanding serviced apartment in the heart of the city at Fraser Place Melbourne, you'll have the ideal spot to head along to the city's top racing destinations and soak up all the thrilling action. With so many races taking place throughout October and November, we've gone through and picked out some of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival events that you simply can't miss.
Makybe Diva Stakes (Saturday 14 September, Flemington Racecourse)
Established in 1948 as the Craiglee Stakes, the Makybe Diva Stakes is a historic event that provides the perfect way to kick off the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Nowadays, the race is dedicated to champion Australian thoroughbred Makybe Diva, who famously won three Melbourne Cups in a row between 2003 and 2005, plus a Cox Plate and a Sydney Cup among many other high-profile victories. Run over 1600m with a tidy $750,000 in prize money on the line, many leading trainers bring out their middle-distance specialists, while others use this event as a starting point for their horses to warm up for the lengthy Spring Cups later in the calendar. With the winner having the added incentive of taking home a $1 million bonus if they also win the Cox Plate, this early-season event is hotly contested.
Caulfield Guineas (Saturday 12 October, Caulfield Racecourse)
Also run over 1600m, the Caulfield Guineas is the first massive money event of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Considered one of the most prestigious events on the racing calendar, many of the country's top trainers and their horses turn out to compete for a share in the hefty prize pool of $2 million. Held at Caulfield Racecourse – referred to by racing fanatics as 'The Heath' – the history of the Caulfield Guineas dates back to 1881 and has been won by several legendary stallions over the years. Taking place on the first day of the three-day Caulfield Carnival, head along and experience some of the nation's top racehorses before an even more impressive Caulfield event takes place the following weekend.
Caulfield Cup (Saturday 19 October, Caulfield Racecourse)
If you think the Caulfield Guineas sounds impressive, the Caulfield Cup raises the stakes to much greater levels. Putting on what can only be described as an enthralling spectacle, the Caulfield Cup attracts a line-up of some of the world's best racehorses with its huge prize pool of $5 million. Recognised as one of the richest horseracing events in the world, it's widely regarded as the country's second most popular racing event behind the Melbourne Cup. The 2019 edition will be the 140th time the race has run, with it serving as the headline event of the Caulfield Cup Carnival. Throughout the day, attendees can take part in some incredible fashion-on-the-fields and dining extravaganzas, plus there's a chance to mingle with Australia's best-known athletes and movie stars. While the Caulfield Cup is undoubtedly the most important race of the day, there's also the Ethereal Stakes, the Moonga Stakes, the Caulfield Sprint and the Tristarc Stakes to watch out for.
Cox Plate (Saturday 26 October, Moonee Valley Racecourse)
Deliberately placed between the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate is another significant racing event on Melbourne's calendar. Featuring a long and esteemed history, the Cox Plate is run at the bustling Moonee Valley Racecourse over 2040m and is named after William Samuel Cox, the Moonee Valley Racing Club's hugely influential founder. In recent years, the Cox Plate has become known as a playground for Winx, who won an unprecedented four consecutive Cox Plates between 2015 and 2018 before recently retiring. As this year's racehorses don't have Winx to go up against, the $5 million prize is going to be more hard-fought than ever. With this lively day out in the sun also featuring an awesome showcase of great dining experiences, live entertainment and parties that run late into the evening, the Cox Plate is perhaps Melbourne's most underrated racing event.