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Spring Racing at Flemington

Home > Melbourne > Sport | Fun Things To Do
by Emma Brown (subscribe)
I'm a freelance journalist and public relations consultant specialising in arts and entertainment.
Published October 13th 2010
Flemington Racecourse blooms in the spring with elite racing, overflowing champagne, fine dining, lavish parties, countless marquees and dramatic fashion.

The Victorian Racing Club manages the course - the home of the race that stops the nation, the Melbourne Cup.

November 2nd, 2010, will see the 150th running of this iconic event - the $6.175 million Emirates Melbourne Cup at Australia's oldest continuing metropolitan racecourse.

The 3200m race is Australia's richest and is run at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November each year, a public holiday in Victoria.

Over 100,000 spectators including international visitors and celebrities attend each day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with the rest of Australia watching or listening to the Melbourne Cup.

Even though attendance is dramatically large there is plenty of space and venues to easily put on a bet, grab a drink and a bite to eat without long queues.

Venues and ticket options include the Birdcage, Hill and Lawn Stand, corporate marquees, The Terrace Restaurant or for VRC Members and their guests The Domain has a superb view of the track and the place to party and spot celebrities.

For a rush of adrenalin have a flutter. To pick a winner have a look at the horses parading in front of the grand stand to see who looks on form to win.

To find the best odds and to see where all the money is running take a tour of the bookies betting ring before the race. Make sure you buy a race book on entry for all the horse, jockeys and colours information to make an educated bet or appear that you are.

Walk past the famous rose garden to one of the famous grandstands, if your tickets allow, but make sure you get there early to watch the elite thoroughbreds battle it out.

The four race days held over the Melbourne Cup Carnival are the AAMI Victoria Derby Day held on the Saturday before the cup, the Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, Crown Oaks Day and Emirates Stakes Day takes place on the following Saturday.

The carnival is the biggest fashion event of the season with fashionistas displaying their creations, often outrageous fashion statements in the style stakes. Hats are essential and so is a yellow rose in the lapel for gentlemen.

The Victorian Myer Fashions on the Field competition final takes place during the Melbourne Cup Carnival with the National Final held on Crown Oaks Day for a prize pool worth thousands of dollars including an overseas holiday, Myer gift cards, flowers and cash prizes.

Make sure you pre-register for the event where according to the competition organizers the judges are looking for style and originality, appropriateness of the outfit, attention to detail with accessories, understanding and interpretation of the current fashion trends, grooming and deportment and suitability of the outfit for the climate.

You will also see an array of costumes from hot dogs to Gorillas in the public stands.

The best way is to travel is by train from Flinders Street Station. If you want to make an over the top entrance you can fly in by helicopter.

Elite racing and socialising also takes place in Autumn, held around February/March each year where the Super Saturday of racing includes three Group 1 races, the Australian Cup, Australian Guineas, Newmarket Handicap.

Other popular racedays are the Sofitel Girls' Day out in September, New Year's Day, Chester Manifold Stakes Day and Summer Heroes Racedays in January.

Horses jump out of the barriers on Saturdays and public holidays alternating with other Melbourne tracks Sandown, Moonee Valley and Caulfield.
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Why? Enjoy the home of the race that stops a nation
When: Saturdays and public holidays
Where: Flemington Race Course
Cost: Various ticket options
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Wednesday, 1st of September @ 10:33 pm
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