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The Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival gets underway in January and runs through to the end of March each year and features 10 Group races. The first Group 1 of the year is the CF Orr Stakes and it is swiftly followed by the likes of the Lightning Stakes, Blue Diamond Stakes, Futurity Stakes, Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Australian Guineas, Australian Cup and Newmarket Handicap.

Latest Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival News/

GUIDE TO THE MELBOURNE AUTUMN CARNIVAL

The Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival kicks off annually in January and culminates at the end of March with the running of the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield.

There are a total of 33 Group races throughout the autumn carnival with nine of those races carrying Group 1 status.

Although the carnival officially starts in January with the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington, the first of the big Group 1 races, the $400,000 C F Orr Stakes (1400m) is held at Caulfield Racecourse in early February.

The carnival then shifts to Flemington for the running of the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) where weight-for-age sprinters battle for a share in $500,000 in prizemoney; the race also serves as the first leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.

Other group races on Lightning Stakes Day include the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) and the Group 3 The Vanity Stakes (1400m).

The Following week, Caulfield takes centre stage with the running of the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), a set-weights race for two-year-old fillies, colts and geldings.

Blue Diamond Stakes Day is complemented by six other Group races, including the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m), Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m), Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) and the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m).

To continue the Group 1 action, the carnival shifts back to Flemington for the next two Saturdays with the running of the time-honoured Australian Guineas (1600m) where three-year-olds battle for a slice of racing history. 

In early March, the richest day of the carnival is highlighted by the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000), a weight-for-age race for middle distance/staying types.

Other races on the rich day of racing include the $1 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m), Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m), Group 2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m), Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Matron Stakes (1600m).

The final Group 1 race of the carnival, the William Reid Stakes (1200m), is held at Moonee Valley Racecourse toward the end of March and is accompanied by the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m).

To culminate an exciting carnival of racing, Caulfield plays host to the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) and the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m)

WHERE TO BET ON THE MELBOURNE AUTUMN CARNIVAL

Bookmakers LadbrokesCrownBet and bet365 offer some of the best odds on racing in Melbourne throughout the year. Or take advantage of the top 5 bookmaker deals below.

For the best way to make a profit on horse racing, read our guide on "How to make money betting online".

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*Over 18s only. Wagering requirements apply. State exclusions apply to some offers. Exc. NSW, SA, WA & VIC. Please read the T&Cs of each offer with each bookmaker.

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