The social extravaganza of the autumn is here once again to stimulate those of all tastes and interests. There really is something for everyone. There is high fashion and world class entertainment, in addition to all the food and wine you could ever want, set amongst the surrounds of the sport of kings. The event welcomes everyone from the social elite all the way to the casual punter. It is no surprise that the event is aptly named the Sydney Carnival. This year's event looks to celebrate six weeks of world class thoroughbred racing across Sydney's two premier racecourses. Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick are set to host a staggering 49 group races with prize money totalling in excess of $20 million dollars.
This year's edition of The BMW Sydney Carnival is also a collection of some of the biggest race days on the Australian calendar. There is the highly fashionable Ladies Day and legendary Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens before the festival of flare and colour transitions to Royal Randwick for everyone's favourite social destination Derby Day and the infamous Doncaster Mile.
To add to the excitement Royal Randwick is rushing to complete its brand new multimillion dollar grandstand just in time for the festivities. This will be in addition to the new Theatre of the Horse attraction emulating Royal Ascot. Plans for the $150 million dollar refurbishment were first announced at the time of last year's Sydney Carnival. The Australian Turf Club plan to make the Sydney autumn carnival the place to be for revolutionary entertainment and hospitality in Australia and the rest of the world.
The Sydney Carnival is not only about the races. If anything the races provide a unique and exhilarating backdrop to the social event of the autumn. The outdoor entertainment Mecca will feature fantastic live music, stunning fashion competitions, a wide variety of hospitality options, and exciting activities both on and off the track. Each race day has a distinctive theme ranging from the black and white of Derby Day all the way to the celebration of autumn colour at the Golden Slipper. Specific days are designed to appeal to ladies, racing enthusiasts, socialites, and even families. The appeal is undeniable. The carnival allows guests to dress to the nines while meeting new friends, all in the surrounds of the picturesque gardens of Rosehill and Randwick.
The BMW Sydney Carnival kicks off with the Cellarbrations Ladies Day at Rosehill Gardens on March 23rd. It promises to be a spectacular day of fashion and glamour along with live music and entertainment across the precinct. A highlight of the day will be the Cellarbrations Fashion Stakes. This is a fashion competition exclusively for the ladies with $50,000 worth of prizes up for grabs. Competition criteria are here, and a hat or headpiece is compulsory. Girls who are first in and best dressed will also receive a free Sally Hansen beauty gift bag valued at over $30. To receive the offer, make sure you are one of the first 2,000 girls on course when gates open at 11am.
A free trackside ladies lounge called the Emeri Pamper Lounge is also set to be popular on the day. The lounge will provide free make up touch-ups, massages, tarot card reading, and beauty gifts to take home for all ladies who venture through its doors. Ladies can also expect a free tasting glass of Emeri. Themed bars will also be spread across Rosehill Gardens on the day, including the Barcardi Cocktail Bar, the 5 Seeds Fig Tree Deck and the ever popular Chandon Pop-up Bar. Last but not least, Ladies Day will feature the $600,000 Coolmore Classic, which is Sydney's richest race for fillies and mares. General admission to the event will cost $25.
Unlike previous years the Sydney Carnival has opted not to have a major race day on Easter long weekend. However Rosehill Guineas Day on March 30th looks jam-packed with fun and entertainment to celebrate the Easter festivities. Winner of The X factor Australia Samantha Jade will be performing at the event, and the Easter Bunny will be on hand handing out well earned Easter eggs.
The day will culminate with the $500,000 M. J. Bale Rosehill Guineas for 3 year olds. However the day doesn't end there. A live band will perform trackside after the last race to guarantee the long weekend starts off on the right note. General admission on Easter Saturday will cost $25.
Tooheys New Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens is the must attend event of the BMW Sydney Carnival. The highlight of the Rosehill Gardens program on April 6th will feature a stellar line up of racing, entertainment, fashion and glamour. It's no surprise that the signature event of the day will be the world's best race for 2 year olds, the $3.5 million dollar Toohey's New Golden Slipper. Themed bars scattered across Rosehill Gardens will include the Smirnoff Experience, Tooheys New Fig Tree Deck and once again the Chandon Pop-up Bar. The Emeri Pamper Lounge will also be in operation on Slipper day providing samples of Emeri as well as touch-ups for the ladies.
For those looking to expand their horizons, various hospitality areas will be available including the Nova 969 Social Club, which offers food, live entertainment, private bars and bookmaking facilities throughout the day. Hospitality prices start at $99 per person. The event will also feature Who wants to be a Slipper Millionaire. All guests will have the chance to select the first 7 horses past the post in the Golden Slipper with winners receiving a share of $1,000,000 in cash. General admission to the Golden Slipper costs $50.
The Sydney Carnival moves to the newly refurbished Royal Randwick on April 13th for David Jones Australian Derby Day. For the very first time guests will be able to witness the grand opening of the impressive Theatre of the Horse amphitheatre. Royal Randwick will look to provide a lot of fanfare with a live performance after the last race to christen the new attraction. The day's highlight will be the $1.5 million dollar David Jones Australian Derby.
Fashionable males and females will also be able to strut their stuff at the Vogue Australia and GQ Australia Style Stakes. This interactive fashion competition will incorporate the traditional black and white fashion theme, as both ladies and gentlemen will have the chance to compete for thousands of dollars worth in prizes. The Clinique Lounge will also be offering free makeup touch-ups and samples to take home for the ladies. Of course the familiar themed bars will be open on the day including the Schweppes Cocktail Bar. General admission to Derby Day will cost $50.
Royal Randwick's blockbuster carnival continues on April 20th with BMW Doncaster Day. The event is always popular and traditionally has the reputation for being the lucky day for the punters. Royal Randwick will host the signature $2 million BMW Doncaster Mile as a highlight to a day full of world class racing. The Clinique Lounge will be back offering free samples and touch-ups, while all the popular themed bars keep the revellers entertained between races. To end the day, the Theatre of the Horse will once again feature a live performance following the last race. General admission will Doncaster Day will cost $50.
The grand finale to the Sydney Carnival will be the Schweppes Sydney Cup at Royal Randwick on April 27th. Like its brother the Melbourne Cup, it is also run over 3200 metres and should be an exhilarating climax to cap off the autumn carnival. Sydney Cup day has traditionally been billed as the day for families, so expect a multitude of entertainment for all ages. It will also be the last chance for guests to see live performances at the Theatre of the Horse. General admission to the Sydney Cup costs $25.
In summary, the Sydney Carnival for 2013 is proving to be the place to be this autumn. The carnival is always a magnet for celebrities and the fashion forward, so expect everyone who is anyone will be there. Whether you are into high fashion, live entertainment, a casual flutter or just a really fun day out, the carnival provides something of interest for every demographic.