Ladbrokes Tip: : Interstate raiders have a top recent record in the Group 1 Perth races each summer.
The Perth Summer Racing Carnival or Festival of Perth Racing takes place from November – January each season and is headlined by three Group 1 classics.
There are Group race meetings held at Ascot Racecourse from early November with events like the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) serving as a lead-up to the major race meetings of the Carnival. In mid-November the Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) run at Perth’s premier track, but the Festival doesn’t officially kick off until Railway Stakes Day traditionally held on the third Saturday of November.
Railway Stakes Day is host to two elite level Perth races with the milers running in the meeting’s namesake race – the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) – while the sprinters take to the track in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
The next Perth Group race meeting runs in December with the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) for the staying types. December is also host to the Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) before the carnival comes to a close in the first week of January with the running of the coveted Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m), one of Australia’s most bet on races!
Major Race Days – See below for the full breakdown of the major Race Days held throughout the Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
Railway Stakes Day
Feature Races – Ascot Racecourse:
The first of the major Perth Summer Racing Carnival meetings runs in late November and features a double-shot of Group 1 action. The Railway Stakes takes place over a mile and traditionally features a similar field to the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes held at the track a fortnight earlier.
The Winterbottom Stakes for the sprinters has been won by plenty of interstate visitors in recent years including the Robert Heathcote-trained Buffering (2013 and 2015). The day’s other headline event is the W.A. Guineas for the three-year-olds worth half a million dollars.
Kingston Town Classic Day
Feature Races – Ascot Racecourse:
The third and final Group 1 race of the Festival of Perth Racing runs on the first Saturday in December, the Kingston Town Classic a top race historically-speaking for favourites. Three-year-olds have a good record in the staying showdown including the win by filly Perfect Reflection in 2015.
. The last dual winner of the race was Playing God (2010-11) who was favourite for his first win as a three-year-old, but scored a 20/1 upset the following year to successfully defend his title. The day’s other Group race is the Lee Steere Classic for three-year-olds, a race dominated by local young talent.
CB Cox Stakes Day
- $250,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m)
The CB Cox Stakes might be the only Group race on the Ascot Racecourse card for this meeting in late December, a fortnight after the Kingston Town Classic, but it still draws plenty of attention by the summer punters. The weight-for-age race serves as a nice lead-up for stayers heading towards the Perth Cup run over the mile and a half, with the last galloper to complete the CB Cox Stakes – Perth Cup double being Delicacy (2015).
Perth Cup Day
- $500,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m)
- $150,000 Group 3 La Trice Classic (1800m)
Perth Cup Day is one of the biggest events on the summer race program in Australia each year. It has traditionally run on New Year’s Day, January 1, but in 2015 took place on the second of January. The mile-and-half classic might only hold Group 2 status however it draws the attention of a Group 1 race. The CB Cox Stakes is the traditional lead-up to the Perth Cup and recent winners of both races in the same season include Delicacy (2016), Lords Ransom (2010) and Cats Fun (2008).