Perth Summer Racing Carnival

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), Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) 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 second or third Saturday of November.

Railway Stakes Day is host to the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and the Group 2 $500,000 WA Guineas (1600m) for the season’s top three-year-olds.

The following weekend the sprinters take to the track in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), also worth $1 million in prize money.

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 over $1.5 million in prize money across the day’s two features.

The Railway Stakes takes place over a mile and is a key lead-up to the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) the following fortnight.

The day’s other headline event is the W.A. Guineas for the three-year-olds worth half a million dollars.

Winterbottom Stakes Day

Feature Races – Ascot Racecourse:

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).

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 the fillies Perfect Reflection in 2015 and Arcadia Queen (2018).

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.

Ted Van Heemst Stakes Day

Feature Races:

Formerly known as the CB Cox Stakes, the Ted Van Heemst 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

Feature Races:

  • $400,000 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 recent years has been held during the first week of the new year.

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 – now the Ted Van Heemst 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).