The Carnival kicks off annually in March and culminates in May with the running of The Goodwood.
There are a total of 19 Group races throughout the carnival with four of those races carrying Group 1 status.
Although the Carnival officially starts in March, the first of the season's Group races, the Group 3 $115,000 Spring Stakes (1200m) is held at Morphettville some seven months earlier in August.
March sees the running of three Group races, with the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) run under set-weights and penalties being the first of the Morphettville autumn features.
The Lord Reims is generally a good lead-up race to the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) which is held nine days later on the South Australian Monday public holiday.
The Adelaide Cup is the premier distance race in South Australia and although it generally isn’t a high quality affair, the open handicap attracts the best local stayers and some interstate horses that are suited by the conditions.
Group racing continues some three weeks later with the Group 3 SA Breeders Stakes (1200) giving two-year-olds a chance to battle under set-weights conditions.
Breeders Stakes runners have the option of backing up two weeks later in the Group 3 SA Sires Produce Stake (1400m), which is held alongside the Group 3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) and the weight-for-age Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m).
Group 1 racing kicks off in late April with the running of the Australasian Oaks (2000m) for three-year-old fillies and the Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) for fillies & mares.
Other races on the day include the Group 2 Queen of the South Stakes (1600m) for fillies and mares, Group 2 SA Chairmans Stakes (2000m) for three-year-olds and the Group 3 DC McKay Stakes (1100m).
Group 1 racing continues the following week with the South Australian Derby (2500m) attracting the best local three-year-olds, while the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) adds to a fantastic day of racing.
The final Group 1 race of the Adelaide Autumn Carnival is the $500,000 The Goodwood (1200m) for sprinters and unlike some of the carnival’s other races, The Goodwood attracts a quality field with recent winners of the race including Black Caviar (2012) and Takeover Target (2009).
Other significant races on Goodwood Day include, the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m), Group 3 The Jansz National Stakes (1200m) for two-year-olds, Group 3 SA Oaks (2500m) for three-year-old fillies, and the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) for fillies and mares.