Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival 2024

The Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival or Melbourne Festival of Racing is one of the calendar year’s early features and takes place from late January until March – April annually.

The major race days across the Carnival include CF Orr Stakes Day that is host to the first Group 1 race of the year, Black Caviar Lighting Day, Blue Diamond Stakes Day with a trio of elite level races, and Newmarket Handicap Day.

One of the latest additions in terms of big autumn races to the calendar is the $3.65 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) held across varying races across Melbourne including Caulfield in 2024.

Gallopers from right across the country face off in the Melbourne majors that take place across the Festival at all of Victoria’s premier racecourses mainly Flemington, Caulfield and Moonee Valley.

The Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival is broken up into racecourse specific mini-carnivals at each track giving punters plenty of unique betting options over the early months of each year.

 

Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival Key Races

2024 Blue Diamond Stakes

The Blue Diamond Stakes is Melbourne’s key race for 2YOs and is known as a stallion-making feature now offering $2 million in stakes.

  • Track: Caulfield Racecourse
  • Distance: 1200m
  • Conditions: 2YO Set Weights
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $2 million
  • First Prize: $1,200,000
  • Sponsor: Sportsbet
  • First Run: 1971
  • Reigning Champion: Hayasugi (2024)

2024 Australian Guineas

The Australian Guineas is a mile race for three-year-olds and good lead-up to Sydney’s ATC Derby and in 2024 offers the winner a guaranteed spot in The All-Star Mile field.

  • Track: Flemington
  • Distance: 1600m
  • Conditions: 3YOs Set Weights
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $1,000,000
  • First Prize: $600,000
  • Sponsor: Howden
  • First Run: 1986
  • Reigning Champion: Southport Tycoon (2024)

2024 Newmarket Handicap

The Newmarket Handicap is the top sprint race in Melbourne during the autumn held in early March down the famous Flemington ‘Straight Six’.

  • Track: Flemington Racecourse
  • Distance: 1200m
  • Conditions: Handicap 
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $1.5 million
  • First Prize: $900,000
  • Sponsor: TAB
  • First Run: 1874
  • Reigning Champion: In Secret (2023)
 

2024 The All-Star Mile

The All-Star Mile race is a unique event first held in 2019 and taking place across rotating Victorian race tracks each March. The event was originally the only race in Australia where race fans and the public got to vote for the runners they wanted to compete in the 1600m showdown. As of 2024 however The All-Star Mile field is no longer decided in part by a public vote but by ‘Win And You’re In’ races and Wild Card entries selected by a panel of racing officials. The 2024 All-Star Mile prize pool has also been reduced from $5 million to $3.65 million.

  • Track: Caulfield Racecourse (2024)
  • Distance: 1600m
  • Conditions: Weight-for-age
  • Status: Follow / Special Conditions
  • Prize Money: $3.65 million
  • First Prize: $2,000,000
  • First Run: 2019
  • Reigning Champion: Mr Brightside (2023)
 

2024 Australian Cup

The Australian Cup, previously held on Super Saturday at Flemington in March, is now on its own feature race meeting later in the month and serves a good lead-up to Sydney’s Tancred Stakes. It now offers a generous $3 million in stakes.

  • Track: Flemington Racecourse
  • Distance: 2000m
  • Conditions: Weight-for-age
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $3 million
  • First Prize: $1,800,000
  • Sponsor: TAB
  • First Run: 1863
  • Reigning Champion: Cascadian 2023)
 

2024 Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival Betting

Ready to gallop into the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival? Futures odds for the thrilling Group 1 races are open months in advance of the races, giving you a chance to strategise your bets well in advance. Dive into the action by clicking the market links in our “Key Races” section above and explore the full line-up of all-in odds for the autumn season.
Melbourne Autumn Carnival betting is a favourite with punters worldwide, and for good reason! You’ll find all the classic horse racing bet types at your fingertips, plus a dash of excitement with exclusive promotional markets and special offers on select races.
Looking for an extra thrill? Spice up your betting with Group 1 doubles! Predict a champion who can conquer two predetermined races, like the CF Orr Stakes and the Futurity Stakes, and potentially score a double win on both races.
So, whether you’re a seasoned punter or a newcomer to the track, dive into the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival and let the action begin!

2024 Major Race Days

See below for the full breakdown of the major Race Days held throughout the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2024.

CF ORR STAKES DAY 2024

Date: Saturday February 10, 2024

Racecourse: Caulfield

Feature Races:

Host to the year’s first elite level feature race CF Orr Stakes Day is conducted in mid-February at Caulfield Racecourse and is headlined by the weight-for-age Group 1 $750,000 CF Orr Stakes (1400m). The card also features a trio of Group 2 support races including the three-year-olds facing off in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) and the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) for the sprinters.

Of the other black-type races the other holding Group 2 status is the Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude for youngsters heading towards the Blue Diamond Stakes later in the carnival. The Colts & Geldings’ edition of the same Prelude also runs on CF Orr Stakes Day but only holds Group 3 status.

BLACK CAVIAR LIGHTNING DAY 2024

Date: Saturday February 17, 2024

Racecourse: Flemington

Feature Races:

The first Group 1 Autumn Racing Carnival Melbourne race card run at Flemington a week after CF Orr Stakes Day is the Group 1 $1,000,000 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) heading the card. The race is named in honour of triple winner Black Caviar who won in 2011-13 and is supported by three Group 3 features for three-year-olds.

The colts and geldings do battle in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) as they head towards a possible run in the Australian Guineas the following month while the fillies face off in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m). In 2023 the Frances Tressady Stakes for fillies and mares has been added to the card moved from its previous spot on the Australian Guineas Day program.

BLUE DIAMOND STAKES DAY 2024

Date: Saturday February 24, 2024

Racecourse: Caulfield Racecourse

Feature Races:

Punters are treated to a triple shot of Group 1 racing for Blue Diamond Stakes Day at Caulfield Racecourse in late February.

Racing is highlighted by the season’s top two-year-olds contesting the stallion-making Group 1 $2 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), which is supported by the weight-for-age Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) for the sprinters. Three Group 2 races are also part of the line-up including the Australian Cup hopes in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) for three-year-olds.

Weight-for-age runners that appreciate a bit of distance head towards later majors in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) while the fillies take each other on in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m).

AUSTRALIAN GUINEAS DAY 2024

Date: Saturday March 2, 2024

Racecourse: Flemington

Feature Races:

In early March the action moves to Flemington for Australian Guineas Day where the marquee race is the Group 1 $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) for the three-year-old milers, the prize money for which was increased to a million dollars for the first time in 2018.

The Group 2 Blamey Stakes, also held over the mile and previously contested on its own feature race day, now runs as the key support act on the Guineas Day card and provides a nice interstate lead-up for milers that could be heading to Sydney for a shot at the Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick that April.

NEWMARKET HANDICAP DAY 2024

Date: Saturday March 9, 2024

Racecourse: Flemington

Feature Races:

Newmarket Handicap Day at Flemington runs in mid-March each Autumn Carnival and is headlined by the sprinters face off in the Group 1 $1.5 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m). Previously the Group 1 Australian Cup also ran on Super Saturday at HQ, but from 2023 has moved to its own feature race meet later in the month. A new unlisted race, the Australian Cup Prelude, now takes place on the day instead as a key lead-up to the now $3 million event.

A host of other Group status support races also add interest to the line-up including the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) for fillies and the juveniles running in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

THE ALL-STAR MILE DAY 2024

Date: Saturday March 16, 2024

Racecourse: Caulfield

Feature Races:

The newest feature meeting of the Melbourne Festival of Racing, The All-Star Mile was first run and won at Flemington in 2019. For the second edition in 2020 the multi-million dollar event was held at Caulfield and for 2021 it light up The Valley in mid-March. In 2022 the feature returned to Flemington Racecourse with HQ the first course to host the All-Star Mile twice. For 2023 the All-Star Mile Day card was back at The Valley. The 2024 All-Star Mile heads back to Caulfield Racecourse with the event now reduced in stakes to $3.65 million as the sole feature on the program.

WILLIAM REID STAKES DAY 2024

Date: Saturday March 23, 2024

Racecourse: Moonee Valley

Feature Races:

One of the last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival meetings takes place Moonee Valley Racecourse with William Reid Stakes running on a Saturday in late March for 2024.

Following on from the Black Caviar Lighting Stakes at Flemington the elite level sprinters get a chance at a Group 1 win in the $1,000,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at the notoriously tight circuit.

The other feature races at the Valley on the day, which was previously held on the Friday night as a twilight meeting, is the weight-for-age $300,000 Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) for the fillies and mares and the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes.  The Group 3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) is also run over the mile by three-year-old fillies at the meeting.

AUSTRALIAN CUP DAY 2024

Date: Saturday March 30, 2024

Racecourse: Flemington Racecourse

Feature Races: 

  • Group 1 $3 million Australian Cup (2000m)
  • Group 3 $200,000 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m)

The final Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival meeting now runs on the last Saturday in March with the $3 million Australian Cup moved from the old ‘Super Saturday’ program to feature on its own major race day at the end of the month. The Australian Cup race, which had a notable prize money boost ahead of the 2023 edition, is accompanied by the Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes for the end-of-season sprinters.


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