|Thursday 18th May 2023
Enjoy a Day at the Track: The 10 Best Horse Races in Australia
From the Melbourne Cup to the Caulfield Cup, Australia is renowned for its thrilling horse racing events. In a country where gambling and betting are popular pastimes, it's no surprise that Australians embrace their annual horse racing calendar. Whether you're an experienced gambler or just an enthusiast looking for a good day out, here's our list of the 10 best horse races in Australia.
1. The Melbourne Cup: A premier horse race held annually in Melbourne, Australia and is widely regarded as one of the world's most prestigious horse racing events. The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861, and the race has been held every year since, other than 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a 3200-meter race open to three-year-olds and older, run left-handed on the flat on turf at Flemington Racecourse. The Melbourne Cup boasts an impressive purse of $8 million AUD and continues to attract top horses and jockeys from around the world. The race is steeped in tradition and is known for its iconic Flemington Racecourse, high fashion, and exciting atmosphere. Overall, it has become synonymous with Australian culture and remains a symbol of the nation's passion for horse racing.
2. Caulfield Cup: A prestigious horse race held annually at the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. First run in 1879, the race took place over a distance of 2400 meters, with the track being left-handed and flat on turf. The Caulfield Cup used to be measured in miles, but in 1972 it switched to meters. The most recent purse for the race is $5 million AUD, making it one of the richest horse races in Australia. Interestingly, since its inception, only seven horses have won the Caulfield Cup twice. It's a challenging race that attracts some of the best horses and jockeys from around the world, adding to its prestige and reputation as one of the greatest horse races in Australia.
3. Golden Slipper: One of the greatest horse races in Australia, widely regarded as the world's richest two-year-old horse race. The first race was held in 1957, and since then, it has become an important part of the Australian racing calendar. The Golden Slipper is run over a distance of 1200 meters on a right-handed flat turf track at the Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney. It is a part of a schedule of Group 1 races held on a single day and offers a purse of $5 million AUD, attracting some of the world's finest two-year-old horses to compete in the race. The race's history boasts just two jockeys, Shane Dye and Ron Quinton, with four wins each, bringing an added element of prestige to the already-celebrated event.
4. Epsom Handicap: An Australian Turf Club Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race for horses three years old and older, under handicap conditions over a distance of 1600 meters. The race is held annually at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia and offers a prize pool of $1 million. It is one of the most prestigious races on the Australian racing calendar, with many of the country's top horses competing for the title each year. The Epsom Handicap has been running since 1865 and has produced some of the greatest champions in Australian racing history, including Shannon (1945), Sky High (1961), Gunsynd (1971), Imposing (1979) and Shogun Lodge (2000).
5. The Doncaster Handicap: Also known as the Doncaster Mile, is one of the oldest and most prestigious horse races in Australia. The race takes place annually at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney over a distance of 1600 meters on flat, right-handed turf. The race has been running since 1866 and boasts a purse of $3 million AUD, making it one of the richest mile races in the world. The Doncaster Handicap attracts top horses and jockeys from around the globe, adding to the event's prestige. In recent years, champions such as Happy Clapper, Winx, and Brutal have taken home the coveted Doncaster Handicap trophy. It is not just a race but an event that is deeply rooted in Australian horse racing history, making it a must-watch race for horse racing enthusiasts.
6. Victoria Derby: Also known as the AAMI Victoria Derby, is a Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race held annually at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. The race is restricted to three-year-old horses and is run over a distance of 2500 meters on a left-handed turf track. The event takes place as part of the Victoria Spring Racing Carnival, which is the first week in November, along with the Melbourne Cup, the VRC Oaks, and the Mackinnon Stakes. The Victoria Derby is one of Australia's most prestigious races and has been running since 1855, making it one of the oldest horse races in the country. With a prize pool of $2 million AUD, the Victoria Derby continues to attract top horses from around the globe, making it a highly anticipated event in the Australian horse racing calendar.
7. Cox Plate: A prestigious Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race held annually at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. The race has been running since 1922 and attracts the best horses and jockeys from around the world. The race covers a distance of 2040 meters (1.27 miles) and is run on a turf, flat, left-handed track. The W. S. Cox Plate boasts a purse of $5 million ($3.2 million US), and its most recent winner is Sir Dragonet (2020). The race is named after William Samuel Cox, a pioneer in the horse racing industry and the founder of the Moonee Valley racecourse. His influence on Australian racing inspires and motivates many individuals to pursue a career in horse racing. With its long and storied history, the W. S. Cox Plate has become an iconic event in the Australian horse racing calendar.
8. AJC Australian Derby: A prestigious Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race held annually at the Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia. This race for three-year-olds is contested over a distance of 2400 meters (1.5 miles) on a right-handed turf track. The event takes place as a part of the Australian Championships Racing Carnival, which is held during the autumn months of April and May. Since it was first run in 1861, the Australian Derby has gained significant popularity within the country's horse racing community and is considered one of the most significant races in the Australian racing calendar. With a purse of $2 million AUD, the Australian Derby boasts an impressive pedigree of champions that includes Phar Lap, Tulloch, and more recently, Criterion. This prestigious race brings together the best horses in Australia and around the world, making it a highly anticipated event for racing fans everywhere.
9. The Stradbroke Handicap: An Australian Group 1 thoroughbred horse race held annually at the Eagle Farm Racecourse in Queensland. This race for three-year-olds and up is run over a distance of 1,400 meters (0.87 miles) on a right-handed turf track, making it one of the most exciting sprints in Australian horse racing. The event originated in 1890, making it one of the oldest and most cherished horse races in the country. The Stradbroke Handicap has a total prize pool of $1.5 million AUD, and its enduring prestige has attracted many world-renowned horses over the years like Dane Ripper, Black Piranha, and Sincero who have all claimed victories. Overall, the Stradbroke Handicap is one of the major highlights of Queensland's winter racing carnival, and its fast-paced, aggressive style of racing leaves fans on the edge of their seats till the very end.
10. TJ Smith Stakes: The TJ Smith Stakes is a highly anticipated Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race held annually at the Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia. Named after one of the greatest Australian trainers in history, Thomas John Smith, this race was first run in 1997 as the Endeavour Stakes, but was renamed to TJ Smith Stakes in 1999 in honor of his contribution to the Australian Horse Racing industry. The TJ Smith Stakes for three-year-olds and older is contested over a distance of 1200 meters (0.74 miles) on a right-handed flat turf track. With a prize pool of $2.5 million AUD, the race attracts some of the best horses, trainers, and jockeys in Australia and has become one of the most sought-after sprint races on the Australian horse racing calendar. The legendary victories of horses like Chautauqua and Nature Strip have etched their names in history and cemented the TJ Smith Stakes' position as a must-watch event for horse racing enthusiasts around the world.
Australia is a hub of incredible horse racing events that are loved and celebrated globally. From the Golden Slipper Stakes and Melbourne Cup to the Doncaster Handicap and W. S. Cox Plate, each event adds its unique personality and charm to Australia's racing culture. It's safe to say that if you're looking for an exciting day out or the chance to win some money, Australia's horse racing events are not to be missed. Moreover, online casinos are also incredibly popular amongst Australian people, and if you enjoy the thrill of gambling from the comfort of your own home, there are many best Australian online casinos to choose from. Whether you're indulging in the excitement of horse racing events or enjoying online casino games, Australia has something for everyone. However, always remember to gamble responsibly and don’t forget your local best australian online casinos offer great odds and bonuses for punters! Good luck!