Australia is packed with exciting sporting events you might want to visit. If you want to soak up the passion and thrills of one of the country’s greatest horse races, the following are the top events to consider travelling to.
The Melbourne Cup
The most famous horse in Australia is run each year at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. This event has a proud history dating back to the 1860s, making it one of the planet’s oldest races, and it is run over 3,200 metres. It is part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, which gets a huge amount of media attention as it falls between the football and cricket seasons. For this reason, it is called the race that stops the nation.
About 100,000 people visit the Carnival every year, over the four different days of races held at Flemington. It isn’t just about the horses, though, as fashion and food are also high on the agenda. Many visitors take the opportunity to try and steal the show by putting on their finest togs, with the winners of each of the fashion awards getting a huge amount of media focus on them.
The Caulfield Cup
Staying in Melbourne, the Caulfield Cup maybe doesn’t have the glamorous reputation of the Melbourne Cup, but it is one of the country’s richest and most important horse races. The distance is 2,400 metres and it takes place at the Caulfield Racecourse, although experts will warn you that bad weather is a recurring theme here.
This race is scheduled for the third Saturday in October, on the last day of the vibrant Caulfield Carnival where a series of interesting races are run in front of a crowd of around 30,000 or so. It is a highly-anticipated social event when you will want to wear your most stylish clothes and enjoy some of the terrific food on offer while mingling with the crowds.
The Golden Slipper Stakes
If you prefer to catch a horse race in Sydney, the Golden Slipper is arguably the top choice. Run in March or April, it is the country’s biggest race for two-year-old horses. Indeed, it is the world’s richest race for thoroughbreds of this age, so it attracts the very best national and international horses. There are five prestigious group 1 races held on the same day at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, and this is the most important of them.
The atmosphere is lively and friendly, with pop-up bars, DJs, food vendors, and prizes for the best-dressed attendees. This event is big business in the online betting world, with regulated sites like bet365, Unibet and Palmerbet advertising special offers to attract bettors — they tend to roll out their best deals just in time for the top events. Some of them also let you live-stream the main races if you can’t get there in person.
The Cox Plate
The last of the big four horse races run in Australia every year is the W.S. Cox Plate, which is held at the Moonee Valley Racing Club in Melbourne each October. This means that it slots in neatly between the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup in the Australian sporting calendar, giving you another worthwhile option at this time of year. It is run over 2,040 metres, with horses aged three and older able to compete.
These are all great races and fantastic sporting occasions that will give you a glimpse into the world of horse racing, as well as an enjoyable day out.