The Melbourne Cup Carnival is without a doubt one of Australia’s most significant events. It features some of the best horse racing in the world, and it’s right here in our backyard. It’s packed with big races, big events, and even bigger fashion moments. It’s one occasion that’s sure to excite from start to finish.
While the Cup 2021 may be going ahead without the crowds due to COVID restrictions, you can watch all the races live on TV with friends and family. But, truth be told, the carnival offers so much more than just the Melbourne Cup race time itself.
To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this year, we’ve rounded up all the things planned for the Carnival this year (COVID permitting).
#1 – Other Big Races in the Melbourne Cup Carnival
There is so much more to enjoy this spring than just the Melbourne Cup. Experience the excitement of all the major events on the Melbourne Cup Carnival calendar with highlights including:
Penfolds Victoria Derby Day: This is one of the most anticipated spring racing days with four Group 1 races – the $2 million Kennedy Cantala, $1.5 million Coolmore Stud Stakes, $1 million TAB Empire Rose Stakes, and the $2 million Penfolds Victoria Derby.
Kennedy Oaks Day: With the stakes set at more than $1 million, Ladies Day is the most lucrative filly race in the country. Raced over 2500m, the Kennedy Oaks features three-year-olds weighing 55.5kg.
Mackinnon Stakes Day: The final day of Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is capped by the Mackinnon Stakes and has the last of the Group 1 races. It is the “Family Day” at Flemington, and it features plenty of entertainment for the whole family as well as plenty of Group spring racing for punters.
Some of the other major races to look out for include:
- Underwood Stakes (Fillies) – Listed 1500m at Caulfield. The first weight-for-age race of the spring (September 25)
- Toorak Handicap – Group 3, 1200m at Caulfield (October 9)
- Moonga Stakes (Fillies) – Group 3 1300 m at Morphettville (October 17)
- Lexus Hotham Stakes – Listed Race, 1600m at Caulfield (October 21)
#2 – Melbourne Cup at Victoria Park
Disappointed that you can’t go out? Never fear, Victoria Park hosts the Spring Fling with live music from local artists, delicious food and drink specials all day long, and plenty of screens showing the race itself.
And if you’re feeling lucky, there will also be a bookie on-site taking bets on your favourite horse (and other races). So bring your friends or make some new ones while watching history unfold before your eyes.
#3 – Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn 2021
You don’t have to be at Flemington to dress to the nines and have a chance to win big money and prizes for your sense of style. Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn returns to Australia this year to give contestants across the country the opportunity to compete for over $300,000 in fabulous luxury prizes from Lexus, Kennedy, Myer, Sofitel and TCL.
The illustrious Womens and Mens Racewear National Competitions again include all states and territories, with a new world-first wildcard entry chosen at random by style spotters on the course at Flemington Racecourse during Cup Week.
The Emerging Designer and Millinery Award categories are returning, and the popular Just for Fun categories, featuring elaborate costumes, outrageous headpieces, and fashionable families.
#4 – Take The Opportunity to View The Melbourne Cup Itself
In celebration of the 160th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup race and its contribution to the nation’s cultural and historical heritage, the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour presents an annual exhibition of the heroes and stories of the race and their contributions.
By partnering with councils, schools, hospitals, aged-care homes and racing groups to raise funds for local causes, the 18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy is visiting various destinations in an attempt to unite communities.