As Spring approaches, so too does the Melbourne Cup Carnival. You know what that means, ladies. It's time to dust off your frocks, pin on your hats and buckle your heels, for Flemington race days are as much a celebration of culture, fashion, wine and fine dining as it is about racing.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival consists of six event days starting on Saturday September 10th and finishing on Saturday 5th November.
The first event is The Sofitel Girls' Day Out. Ladies love the Paris Lane retail and entertainment precinct. Enjoy a glass full of bubbles amid the glamour and glitz of high fashion, with entertainment for the kids out on lawn, including pony rides and outdoor games. The Sofitel Girls' Day Out also features the first middle distance race of the season, the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Ticket prices for the Sofitel Girls' Day Out is $20 per adult, $16 for concession/students and under 16's admitted free.
The Turnbull Stakes Day presented by Yellowglen follows on Sunday 2nd October. Consisting of the $221,500 Blazer Stakes, the $222,000 TAB Edward Manifold Stakes and the $221,500 Gilgai Stakes, the 'All Black Type' racing schedule is one of the seasons most popular, and considered an important preparation race for Melbourne Cup contenders. Entry to The Turnbull Stakes Day is $25 for adults, $20 for concession/students and under 16 years are admitted free.
The AAMI Victoria Derby Day, held on Saturday 29th October, is described on the racing.com website as the most 'outstanding day of racing on the Australasian calendar.' Considered by some to be the most prestigious and sophisticated race date on the Carnival calendar; there are 4 Elite Group 1 Level races, with the Group 1 AAMI Victorian Derby offering over $1 million dollars in prize money. For winners of the Longines Mackinnon Stakes and Lexus Stakes, it is also a last-minute wildcard entry into the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Derby Day is special for the ladies, too, with the debut of the Myer Fashions on the Field event. It's time to glam up as the competition for best-dressed can be fierce.
The official flower for the AAMI Victoria Derby Day is the cornflower. Cornflowers can be purchased from sellers near the entrance upon arrival.
Entry to Derby Day is $65 for adults, $55 concession/students and free entry for people under the age of 16.
Then it's time for the ultimate race day at Flemington, the Emirates Melbourne Cup. This racing and fashion spectacular is always held on the first Tuesday in November. This year, that falls on Tuesday 1st November, and racing doesn't come any bigger, better or more exciting than this. The Melbourne Cup boasts the richest prize money in Australian sport and as a result attracts horses from right around the globe, as well as a huge turnout of spectators. Over 100,000 people descend on Flemington to see 'the race that stops the nation.'
Some of the finest thoroughbreds from around the world, along with their trainers and owners, battle it out for a stake in the whopping $6.2 million dollar prize money. The addition to the highly coveted trophy, the winner also wins a place in Australian racing history, forever remembered as a winner of the Melbourne Cup.
The official flower for the Emirates Melbourne Cup Day is the yellow rose. You'll have the opportunity to purchase yellow roses from flower sellers near the entrance.
Entry to the Emirates Melbourne Cup Day is $70 for adults, $57 for concession/students, $37 for pensioners and children under 16 are admitted free.
Crown Oaks Day, held on Thursday 3rd November, is Ladies' Day. The national finals of the Myer Fashions on the Field are held alongside the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks for the fastest 3-year old filly over 2500m. Resplendent fashions are required for this indulgent celebration of fashion, food, wine and racing.
The official flower of Crown Oaks Day is the pink rose. Spectators can purchase pink roses from flower sellers near the entrance on the day.
Entry to the Crown Oaks Day is $45 for adults, $43 for concession/students, $25 for pensioners and under 16 years admitted free.
On Saturday 5th November, The Emirates Stakes Day marks the official end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Described as a relaxed day of family fun, there will be loads of free activities for the kids and live entertainment for all, in addition to the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes and Darley Classic.
The Official flower for the Emirates Stakes Day is the red rose. Revellers can purchase red roses from flower sellers near the entrance.
Entry to The Emirates Stakes Day is $45 for adults, $90 for a family of 4, $43 concession/students, $25 for pensioners and under 16's enter free.
A favourite with all racegoers, The Myer Fashion on the Field is a well-established 'institution' of the Cup Carnival. International celebrity judges add to the stature of this prestigious event as entrants grace runways inspired by fashion parades from right around the world. In addition to the ladies and men's events, there is also a section for children at the Emirates Stakes "Family" Day. Industry award categories are held for fashion designers and milliners, too. Entry details are available on the website.
The Flemington Racecourse is located 448 Epson Road, Flemington. While parking is available, public transport is a highly recommended option. Special trains leave from Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station, running directly to Flemington Racecourse on race days. For tram travellers, catch the No 57 West Maribyrnong tram from the corner of Elizabeth Street and Flinders Street to Stop 30 – Flemington Drive.