The Stawell Times-News

4 Biggest horse racing events on the Australian calendar

 Australia's racing calendar is peppered with events that stand out in the global racing arena. Picture Shutterstock
Australia's racing calendar is peppered with events that stand out in the global racing arena. Picture Shutterstock
4 Biggest horse racing events on the Australian calendar
4 Biggest horse racing events on the Australian calendar

Down under, horse racing is not just a sport; it's a cultural phenomenon that captivates the nation. From the thundering hooves to the glamour of race-day fashion, Australia's racing calendar is peppered with events that stand out in the global racing arena.

So, let's grab our fascinators and dive into the heart of the action, exploring the four biggest horse racing events on the Australian calendar.

1. Melbourne Cup Carnival: The race that stops a nation

Ah, the Melbourne Cup Carnival - an event so iconic it has earned the moniker "The Race that Stops a Nation." Held at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, this carnival is one of the biggest events in Australian horse racing. The main event, the Melbourne Cup, takes place on the first Tuesday in November and attracts attention from punters, fashionistas, and casual observers alike.

Beyond the heart-pounding action on the track, the Melbourne Cup is a festival of fashion, with attendees donning their finest attire, extravagant hats, and polished shoes. It's a day where racing royalty mingles with everyday punters, and the Flemington grandstands buzz with excitement.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is not just a sporting event; it's a cultural celebration that unites the nation in a collective pause to watch the finest thoroughbreds compete for glory.

2. The Everest: Racing at new heights

In the fast-paced world of Australian racing and horse race betting, The Everest has emerged as the richest turf race on the planet. Held at Royal Randwick in Sydney, The Everest takes the spotlight in October, offering a purse that lures top-class sprinters from around the globe. The unique selling point? Twelve slot holders, including private owners and syndicates, purchase slots for a hefty sum, creating a field of elite contenders.

Beyond the colossal prize money, The Everest is a spectacle of speed and skill, with the 1,200-metre sprint testing the mettle of the fastest thoroughbreds. The pulsating atmosphere at Royal Randwick, coupled with the breathtaking backdrop of the Sydney skyline, makes The Everest a must-watch event that elevates Australian racing to new heights.

3. Cox Plate: The weight-for-age gem

Nestled in the heart of the spring racing carnival, the Cox Plate is an institution in Australian horse racing. Held at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne, the Cox Plate is a weight-for-age championship that attracts the creme de la creme of the racing world. The 2,040-metre track, with its tight turns and short straight, demands tactical brilliance from jockeys and sheer athleticism from equine athletes.

The Cox Plate's illustrious history is punctuated by legendary performances, including the iconic three-peat by the mighty mare Winx from 2015 to 2017. The race is not just a test of speed but a showcase of stamina and strategy, drawing racing purists who appreciate the artistry of the sport. With its status as one of the top-tier races globally, the Cox Plate is a jewel in the Australian racing calendar.

4. Golden Slipper Stakes: Where future stars emerge

For those who appreciate the promise of youth in the racing world, the Golden Slipper Stakes is the event to watch. Dubbed the world's richest race for two-year-olds, the Golden Slipper unfolds at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney. The 1,200-metre sprint is a showcase of precocious talent, where fledgling champions announce their presence on the racing stage.

The Golden Slipper Stakes, held during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, has a storied history of unveiling future stars. From the unforgettable victory of the inaugural winner, Sweet Embrace, in 1970 to recent sensations like She Will Reign in 2017, the race has been a launching pad for young horses destined for greatness.

Beyond the racing drama, the Golden Slipper is a family-friendly affair, with a vibrant atmosphere that resonates with fans of all ages.


Australia's horse racing calendar is a tapestry woven with threads of speed, elegance, and the thrill of competition. From the regal traditions of the Melbourne Cup Carnival to the adrenaline-fuelled drama of The Everest, each event contributes to the rich narrative of Australian racing.

So, whether you're a seasoned punter or a casual spectator, these four racing spectacles offer an invitation to immerse yourself in the glamour and excitement of Australia's premier horse racing events. It's a journey where thundering hooves and racing elegance converge, creating an experience that resonates far beyond the finish line. Cheers to the heart-pounding excitement of Australian horse racing!

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