Australian Spring Racing Carnival

The Spring Racing Carnival is the country's biggest and most prestigious horse racing carnival, held annually both as the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and Sydney Spring Racing Carnival. The Spring Racing Carnival is also a huge social event for non-racing fans, with thousands of patrons attending for all the glitz and glamour that the Spring Racing Carnival has to offer. The carnival features a number of Group 1 races, including the iconic Melbourne Cup, which is run over 3,200 metres and attracts international Group 1 grade horses.

For each of the races, I have included the race name, race distance, whether Group 1 or 2 etc, the horse entry conditions including Weight-For-Age where applicable, the prize money and of course the racecourse.

By now you should know that The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is undoubtedly the biggest racing event on Australian soil. The most famous being the Melbourne Cup with the carnival making household names of so many horses, both domestic and international. The Melbourne Cup is a part of the 4-day Flemington Carnival which is the major event of the Melbourne Spring Carnival and as you will read features many important races. 

In Victoria the more well known races take place across 3 metropolitan racecourses, not just Flemington, but also Caulfield and Moonee Valley. But that all is to come later. 
Let´s first look at New South Wales where there are 2 major racecourse hosting the key Spring Carnival races.

Sydney Spring Racing Carnival

Over a 200 year period, this carnival has grown from a few races, to a three day event to now two whole months. Following closely in stature to Melbourne, the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival features the following high value races (in order): 

George Main Stakes 1,600m G1Weight-For-Age$1mRandwick
Golden Rose Stakes 1,400m G13yrs$1mRandwick
Epsom Handicap1,600m G13yrs and up$1.5mRandwick
The Metropolitan 2,400mG13yrs and up$750kRandwick
The Silver Eagle 1,300mOpen4yrs WFA$1mRandwick
The Everest1,200mG1Feature Weight-For-AgeWFARandwick
The Spring Champion Stakes2,000m G13yrs$2mRandwick
Golden Eagle1,500mG14yrs$10mRosehill
The Big Dance1,600m H´cap3yrs and up$2mRandwick
Five Diamonds  1,800mOpen5yrs$2mRosehill
Golden Gift1,100mOpen2yrs$1mRosehill

Yes, you read correctly, a race with $15m in prize money, really put Sydney on the map. The Everest which started in 2017 is Australia´s richest race and the world´s richest turf race.
Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens are the primary hosts for the Sydney Spring Carnival. The timing allows for racers to come to the NSW events before heading down to Victoria for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. However, some of the races including the $2m Five Diamonds have been put on the card to detract trainers from sending their horses to Victoria.
The George Main Stakes and the Golden Stakes races are typically events for dual carnival hopefuls. 
The addition of the Everest and the Gold Eagle have really allowed The Sydney Spring Racing Carnival to rival the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival contains racing from not just Melbourne´s racetracks but also Bendigo and Geelong, both holding Group 3 races. However here, we will just focus on the Melbourne meetings. The Spring Racing Carnival officially starts with the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes Day at Flemington, one week after the AFL Grand Final and ends in mid-November at Sandown.

One race technically outside the Spring Racing Carnival taking place in the September/October timeframe is:

Turnbull Stakes                                 2,000m                 G1          4yrs and up                         $500k    

This race can give some guidance for horses thinking of the Caulfield Stakes or Caulfield Cup.

The Melbourne Racing Club holds racing at the Caulfield Carnival, the Moonee Valley Carnival and the (Flemington) Melbourne Cup Carnival which of course attracts the most punters’ attention.

Caulfield Spring Carnival

There are 3 race meetings at Caulfield:

3 weeks before the Victoria Derby, at Flemington, there is a meeting within which are:

Caulfield Stakes2,000mG13yrs and up WFA$1m
Toorak Guineas1,6000mG1Open$1m
Caulfield Guineas #1,6000mG13yrs $3m
(# The Caulfield Stakes is an ideal race for Caulfield Cup and/or Cox Plate hopefuls.)
Caulfield Thousand Guineas1,600mG13yr fillies$1m

On the weekend after the Caulfield Guineas, to complete the Caulfield program, there is the financially inviting:

Caulfield Cup % 2,400m G1Open Handicap$5m
(% The winner gains exemption from the Melbourne Cup ballot)

Moonee Valley Spring Carnival

The Moonee Valley Spring Carnival, starts on the Friday evening after the Caulfield Cup with:

Manikato Stakes 1,200m G13 yrs and up$2m
Then on the following day of this 2-day meeting, there are the following races of interest:
Crystal Mile1.600mG23yrs and up$300k
Cox Plate ^2,040mG13yrs and up WFA$5m
(^ seen as the premier weight for age race in Australia)
Moonee Valley (Gold) Cup 2,500m  G2 4yrs and up  
Moonee Valley Vase      2,040m  G2 3yrs $500k

Flemington Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival

The Flemington Spring Carnival starts on the week after the Moonee Valley Spring Carnival finishes, with a week of outstanding racing, those races of note are:

The Bart Cummings @2,510mG3Open H´cap$300k
(@ The winner gains exemption from the Melbourne Cup ballot)
Victoria Derby2,500mG13yrs$2m
Coolmore Stud Stakes1,200mG13yrs$2m
Empire Rose Stakes1,600mG13yrs and up WFA$1m
Melbourne Cup3,200mG13yrs and up handicap$8m
(The 3pm ”race that stops a nation” is the richest 2-mile handicap race in the world.)
VRC Oaks2,500mG13yr fillies$1m
Champion Stakes2,000mG13yrs and up WFA$3m
Champion Sprint1,200mG13yrs and up WFA$3m
Champion Mile1,600mG13yrs and up H´cap$3m

You may think that with the Melbourne Cup over, a fantastic racing week comes to an end for another year, but this is not true, read on for further racing in the rest of the year.