Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival Tips & Betting Advice

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


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

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 $500,000 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) is held at Caulfield Racecourse in early February.

The carnival then shifts to Flemington for the running of the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) where weight-for-age sprinters battle for a share in $750,000 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 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and the Group 3 The Vanity Stakes (1400m).

The following week, Caulfield takes centre stage with the running of the $1.5 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 seven other Group races, including the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m), Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) 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 $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), a weight-for-age race for middle distance/staying types.

Other races on the rich day of racing include the $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m), Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m), Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Matron Stakes (1600m).

A new feature race has been added for 2019 with the introduction of the All-Star Mile (1600m), a $5 million contest which will move round each year between Flemington, Caulfield and The Valley.

The final Group 1 race of the carnival, the William Reid Stakes (1200m), is held at The Valley toward the end of March and is accompanied by the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Alexandra 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)


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