The Invitation Tips, Betting, Odds, Horses & More 2024

The Invitation is a special conditions race and as the name suggests, it is by invitation only. It is one of the newer races on the calendar and while it isn’t a Group 1, the $2 million in prize money on offer means some of the best fillies and mares compete. In 2024, The Invitation will take place on Saturday, October 26 at Randwick Racecourse.

The Invitation Information

Are you on the hunt for some quick facts about The Invitation? We’ve got some quick facts to get you started:

📅Date:Saturday 26th October, 2024
⌚Race Time:TBA
📏Race Distance:1,400 metres
🛣️Racecourse:Randwick Racecourse
🐎Conditions:Set Weights & Penalties
🏅Status:Not a Group 1
🏆Prize Money:$2,000,000
🏇2023 Winner:Espiona

About the The Invitation

The Invitation is an invite-only race that is run at a distance of 1,400m for fillies and mares 3YO+. The race is run under set weights and penalties and while it is not a Group 1 race, what makes this event different is that it is invitation only for horses from Australia and New Zealand.

The Invitation is made to 12 starters by a panel under the guidance of Racing NSW. Up to two emergency runners can also be declared. The prize money on offer certainly helps in attracting top-class horses, trainers and jockeys to New South Wales rather than participate in the Racing Victoria spring program, a battle that continues to develop.

The race will be held at Randwick Racecourse, which is one of the top tracks in the country. If you follow the big races of NSW or the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, you will know it is on the same day and track as the $2 million Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes over 2,000m.

On top of this, The Invitation also takes place on Cox Plate Day, which is run in Melbourne, at Moonee Valley Racecourse. The Cox Plate is one of the biggest races on the Australian calendar and there is a whopping $5 million up for grabs.

This page on The Invitation covers all the information you could ever need to know about the race. We go through information like our top tips for the race, details on horse racing betting for the race, all the latest results and so much more. We also update this page regularly, so you always have the latest information.

Before we kick things off with our tips for The Invitation, it is worth noting the significance of the announcement to Spring Carnival Racing in NSW, as there were also large increases in prize money for several races including the Group 2 Hill Stakes and the Group 1 George Main Stakes both doubling from $500,000 to $1 million. 

But the icing on the cake was The Invitation was a prize purse of $2 million. There is now a Spring program of eight straight weeks of $1 million or more prize money races. We break down the prize money for The Invitation below:

Place:Prize Money:
7th - 10th$30,000
11th & 12th$25,000

The Invitation Tips

The team at OnlyRacing prides themselves on giving their loyal readers some of the best free racing tips going around. We celebrate the wins just as hard and not only do we provide tips for all the key races on the calendar, but we also provide weekly tips for readers to feast their eyes on.

More information about the field for The Invitation will be provided closer to race day. When we have all the information required, our experts will get cracking with their tips. For The Invitation, we will provide three tips; our best bet, next best and best roughie. This means that no matter the type of bettor you are, you’ll find something that tickles your fancy.

Our tips for The Invitation will be available during race week. In the meantime, you can check out the tips our experts put together for the race in 2023 and judge them accordingly! You can find the tips below:

The Invitation Best Bet - Espiona

The Invitation this year seems like a two-horse race between Espiona and Magic Time. Espiona is currently on the second line of betting, with odds of $3.60, but I think she is the one who can win the race. We see a lot of quality fillies and mares, with plenty of Group 1 winners, but Espiona is the top in my eyes.

Espiona has been improving with each run and she recently dominated in the Golden Pendant. While she didn’t perform as well as hoped in The Everest, finishing seventh, I think The Invitation will be more to her liking. A drop back in class should mean an easy win for Espiona.

The Invitation Next Best - Magic Time

Magic Time is my next best for The Invitation and she has already won multiple Group 3 races. At the time of writing Magic Time is the favourite, with odds of $2.80, but I think Espiona will get the better of her on this occasion.

She is a very smart mare, so I think a top-three performance is certainly in the cards. The 1,400m distance looks good and she recently put in a commanding win over the 1,200m in the Group 3, The Nivison. The draw is something I’m a little concerned about, but she is certainly good enough to overcome that.

The Invitation Best Roughie - Parisal

For my best roughie, I’ve landed on Parisal in The Invitation on Saturday. Parisal is listed at odds of $12 at the time of writing, so there’s still a bit of value to be had. She came second in The Nivison, the race that Magic Time, but next best won. 

In that race, she had to overcome a wide barrier, but this time she draws the inside barrier, so things could go more to her liking. She’ll need some luck I think in the early stages and if she does, she’ll be in this for a long way.

Don’t forget that our tips will be available during race week, so come back soon for all our latest tips for The Invitation.

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The Invitation Betting

Betting on The Invitation can be a fun experience, especially if you end up backing a winner! For The Invitation, or any horse race for that matter, there are important things you need to know, so you can make the most out of your betting experience.

The team here at OnlyRacing have been betting on horse racing for many years now and over that time, we have developed a simple strategy for deciphering the complex world of betting, in particular picking a bookie. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to two things:

  1. Which bookie is going to offer you the best value for betting with them on feature races such as The Invitation,racing promotions may come into play here. 
  2. Which are your preferred markets or bets that you wish to place on the race.

So, you are trying to extract the most profit from your bets, if there are bonus bets on win odds for runners coming second, third or even fourth, then you have some additional cover that could be worth exploring. With these types of promotions, it’s usually with the compromise of possibly lower odds being available from those bookmakers.

Compare the odds for your picks across as many available betting sites as you can check or are already a member. For reference, we have a bookmaker review page that includes a pros and cons list of all the best Australian betting sites that offer racing markets. 

Additionally, our betting sites' reviews feature in-depth reviews of specific bookmakers that we care to highlight. Some of these bookmakers include PlayUp, PalmerBet, and Winnersbet. Bet on whichever available Australian horse racing betting site offers you the best price for your preferred bets on races. 

Another option is to simply bet with whichever bookie you are used to, or rather, most comfortable with. They may or may not offer the best odds, but it is a bookmaker that you know well and you can easily navigate their webpages to place bets.

There are so many different horse racing betting apps, but we aim to make the process easy for you. It’s also worth considering opening up multiple accounts with different bookies, as you’ll then have the ability to jump on different promotions and more.

The Invitation Field

The field for The Invitation is determined by invite only. We will know more about the runners that will line up for The Invitation closer to race day. As the race is by invitation only, we have come to expect a high-quality field, filled with the best fillies and mares Australia and New Zealand have to offer.

One way to get a sneaky peak at the runners who might be making an appearance in the final field is to check out the odds for the race. If they are available, the odds will showcase the runners who are currently more favoured in the market and therefore more likely to get a spot in the race.

While we wait for the final field to be confirmed, let’s take a look back and the runners who lined up for The Invitation in 2023:

1ALCOHOL FREE (IRE)Gai Waterhouse & Adrian BottAdam Hyeronimus1359.5kg
2ESPIONAChris WallerKerrin McEvoy1059kg
3ROYAL MERCHANTCiaron Maher & David EustaceJason Collett659kg
4RUTHLESS DAME (NZ)Ciaron Maher & David EustaceSam Clipperton1459kg
5OPAL RIDGELuke PepperDylan Gibbons (a)359kg
6ROOTSChris WallerTommy Berry458kg
7MAGIC TIMEGrahame BeggTyler Schiller1158kg
8PARISALJames CummingsRegan Bayliss258kg
9OLENTIAChris WallerMs Kathy O’Hara758kg
10BANANA QUEENGerald Ryan & Sterling AlexiouJoshua Parr858kg
11AUSBRED FLIRTBrad WiddupMs Rachel King957kg
12DALCHINILee & Cherie CurtisJay Ford1257kg
13eRAZETAKris Lees158kg
14eRUSSIAN CONQUESTPeter & Paul Snowden557kg

For The Invitation in 2023, we saw the typical field of 12 runners confirmed, with two emergencies in case there were any pre-race scratchings. In the end, the two emergencies, Razeta and Russian Conquest didn’t gain entry into the race as there weren’t any scratchings.

We see scratchings happen all the time in racing, it’s an unfortunate way of life. There are a few reasons why a horse may be scratched and it can sometimes come out of the blue. This is why it’s a good idea to check the field regularly, especially if you’ve placed a bet on the race.

Something else that you should check is the barrier draw. The bigger the field, the more influence the barrier draw will have on shaping how the race plays out. There are also some barriers that better suit a particular runner’s racing style. 

The Invitation Form Guide

It’s always a good idea to put together or look into a form guide for each horse race you want to bet on. For The Invitation form guide, it’s a little trickier because the race doesn’t have a lot of history. This means there isn’t a lot of stats and data to base decisions on. Nonetheless, the team at OnlyRacing have done the best they can!

We’ve gone through all the available data and will continue to go through the data each year. Eventually, patterns will emerge about the type of horse that wins this race and while this doesn’t 100% confirm the next winner for the race, it can certainly help point you in the right direction. Check out all The Invitation form guide and indicator information we’ve found!

Some of the important form guide information you should look into include firstly, the barrier draw and projected race tempo. We are likely to see a capacity field of 12 runners each year, and there isn’t a lot of distance until the home turn at Randwick for the 1,400m start. This means tempo is important to look into.

While The Invitation isn’t a Group 1 race, it’s a good idea to look for runners who are at stakes-class level (at the least). Runners should have a proven record at both Randwick and the 1,400m distance. It could be worth checking out runners who have previously performed well (or won) at Group 1 level.

Due to the timing of the event, there will likely be many different form line rabbit holes to go down. Winning form is obviously good form, so look at runners who are coming into The Invitation with a lot of confidence. 

Two Group 1 races may act as an ideal lead-up to this race, runners who perform well in one of these races may be in good stead to back it up in The Invitation. Check out runners who come from either the Flight Stakes or the Epsom Handicap, both are raced at Randwick over the 1,600m.

The Invitation is run under set weights and penalties conditions, so it may also pay to check out runners who have had success under these conditions in the past. It’s a good idea to check out older mares, as they likely won’t have a weight penalty like they would if they were running under WFA conditions.

The Invitation Horses

The Invitation is by invite only and so even though the race is still one of the newer ones on the calendar, we have already come to expect some top-notch horses competing. Only the best of the best can go on to win The Invitation. 

As The Invitation has only been around for a handful of years, we haven’t had to make any tough decisions on which horses to mention in this section and which ones to leave out. We’re going to talk about all of them! Check out more information on The Invitation horses below:

Icebath - 2021

Icebath was the inaugural winner of The Invitation, winning the race in 2021. The mare amassed over $5 million in prize money throughout her career and had a record of 39:5-9-7, which included a Group 1 victory in the Empire Rose Stakes. If you want to learn more about the Empire Rose Stakes and other key races, check out our Group One races list!

Promise Of Success - 2022

Promise Of Success was successful in The Invitation in 2022, winning by 0.2L. In her career, she has won over $1 million in prize money and has a record of 24:5-4-2. While she is unplaced in three attempts at Group 1 level, she has won on one occasion at Group 2 level, in the Emancipation Stakes.

Espiona - 2023

The winner of The Invitation in 2023, Espiona, has a current career record of 24:7-2-4 and this includes a victory at Group 1 level after she won the Coolmore Classic. She has also finished third in a Group 1 on four occasions and has a total of over $3 million in career prize money so far.

The Invitation Odds

If you want to bet on The Invitation, understanding the odds is vital. The Invitation odds will tell you which runners are more favoured in the market. However, it is important to remember that even if a runner has shorter odds and is therefore more favoured in the market, it doesn’t guarantee they will win.

The first market that will open up for The Invitation will be the Fixed Win/ Place market. At this stage, PlayUp, our favourite bookie, hasn’t released their market for The Invitation. We will keep an eye on this though and bring you all the odds information when PlayUp’s market is released.

As we get closer and closer to race day, more horse racing markets will open up. This means you’ll have more options available for you to bet on. The odds in any market will always be changing, so if you see a price you like, it’s a pretty good idea to jump on it while you can.

Many factors influence a change in the odds and different bookies can have slightly different factors, which is why you may see different odds for the same runner or market. It’s a good idea to also check what stage the market is in. If the Fixed Win/ Place market is listed as “Before Noms”, you’ll get your stake back if your runner doesn’t make the final field.

Don’t forget to check back here closer to race day. We’ll have the odds available once PlayUp’s market is live.

The Invitation History

There certainly isn’t a long history for The Invitation, with the race being created in 2021. Despite the race’s short history, we have still seen several high-quality fillies and mares take part. The field for The Invitation is set to just 12 runners and when it comes to gaining entry into the race, it is by invite only.

There is a cool $2 million in prize money on offer for this race, which makes it one of the richest races strictly for fillies and mares in the Southern Hemisphere. Along with The Invitation, Racing NSW brought in a couple of other changes, to keep up with Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival, which is one of the biggest horse racing carnivals.

Racing NSW has added several new races to the calendar during Spring, throwing a lot of prize money around as well, all to compete with Melbourne. The race is placed around The Everest and The Golden Eagle, which ensures the best jockeys, trainers and horses stick around in NSW for a few weeks.

Looking at the results of all editions of The Invitation so far, Kerrin McEvoy is still the only jockey to have won the race, winning from 2021 to 2023. The winners of The Invitation so far include; Espiona (2023), Promise Of Success (2022) and Icebath (2021).

As the history of The Invitation continues to develop and evolve, we will add more information to this section. We can’t wait to see how The 

The Invitation Results

We’ve got all The Invitation results that you’ve been looking for. No matter if it’s right after the race and you want to know who won, or you just want to relive all the action, we’ve got you covered. This results section provides information on the finishing order of the entire field as well as a full race replay.

In 2023, we saw Espiona, who was the second favourite, win The Invitation by 0.2L. Before winning The Invitation, Espiona finished seventh in The Everest. Ruthless Dame, an $18 chance, overcame the widest barrier of them all to take second place. 

Magic Time, who was the pre-race favourite, filled in the final minor placing, just 0.3L off the leader. In the end, there was a total of 7.96L that split the entire field and The Invitation was run in a time of 1:21.74.

See where every single runner in The Invitation finished below:

12ESPIONAChris WallerKerrin McEvoy-859kg
24RUTHLESS DAME (NZ)Ciaron Maher & David EustaceSam Clipperton0.2L1259kg
37MAGIC TIMEGrahame BeggTyler Schiller0.3L958kg
41ALCOHOL FREE (IRE)Gai Waterhouse & Adrian BottAdam Hyeronimus0.66L1159.5kg
511AUSBRED FLIRTBrad WiddupMs Rachel King1.54L757kg
63ROYAL MERCHANTCiaron Maher & David EustaceJason Collett2.03L459kg
712DALCHINILee & Cherie CurtisJay Ford3.23L1057kg
88PARISALJames CummingsRegan Bayliss3.72L158kg
95OPAL RIDGELuke PepperDylan Gibbons (a)3.73L259kg
1010BANANA QUEENGerald Ryan & Sterling AlexiouJoshua Parr3.76L558kg
116ROOTSChris WallerTommy Berry4.02L358kg
129OLENTIAChris WallerMs Kathy O’Hara7.96658kg

The Invitation Replay

Want to relive all the action as it happened in The Invitation? Check out the full race replay video below:

The Invitation Winners

The Invitation has only been running since 2021 and each year we crown a new winner who walks away with the lion’s share of the prize money on offer. Check out every single winner of The Invitation in the table below:

2022Promise Of Success

The Invitation FAQs

The Invitation is one of the newer races on the calendar, so naturally, people have a lot of questions about it! We’ve gone through and answered all the most common questions people have about The Invitation in our FAQs section below:

Where to bet on The Invitation?

There are heaps of places that will open up betting markets for The Invitation each year. All the top bookies will have markets, but how do you choose which one is best for you? Well, it’s a good idea to check out our bookie reviews page, as we take a deep dive into all the top bookies. This will make your job of choosing a bookie so much easier.

How to bet on The Invitation?

For The Invitation, there will be a large range of markets available to be on. If you’re not sure which market is best for you, our bookie reviews can help out again! In our bookie reviews, we go through all the main markets available with each bookie. It’s recommended to start with the bet types you fully understand and grow from there.

How to watch The Invitation?

If you’re interested in watching The Invitation live, but can’t make it to Randwick Racecourse on the day, there are plenty of options available to you. The race will be broadcast on free-to-air and other paid subscription services like Foxtel and Kayo. You can also catch the race through your bookie if they offer live-streaming services.

When is The Invitation?

The Invitation is scheduled for Saturday 26th October 2024 and there’s heaps of racing on this day. The race takes place on the same day as the Spring Champion Stakes and the Cox Plate.

How long is The Invitation?

The Invitation is run at a distance of 1,400 metres. Due to this, you’ll usually find that the margin between the first and last runners is small and the winner will most likely cross the line just under the one minute and a half mark.

Where is The Invitation?

The Invitation takes place each year at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.

Who won the most recent edition of The Invitation?

In 2023, we saw Espiona win The Invitation. The favourite, Magic Time, wasn’t too far off the pace, finishing in third place, just 0.3L behind Espiona.

What is the prize money for The Invitation?

While The Invitation isn’t a Group 1, it has a stack of prize money available, a total of $2 million is on the line for this invite-only race. The winner of The Invitation walks away with $1 million and every runner will get at least some amount of prize money.

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