Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2018

The Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival is the biggest event on the Australian horse racing calendar for that time of year with more Group 1 races offering more prize money than the earlier Melbourne Festival of Racing.

Group 1 race meetings take place at Warwick Farm Racecourse, Rosehill Gardens Racecourse and Royal Randwick Racecourse from late February until mid-April after a number of Group 2 race days leading up to the majors.

Chipping Norton Stakes Day opens the Group 1 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with another early highlight being Golden Sipper Day at Rosehill featuring the world’s richest race for two-year-olds in March.

The real action though takes place in April for The Championships; host to 10 individual Group 1 races including the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) that offers prize money second only to the Melbourne Cup and The Everest during the spring.

Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival: Key Races

Golden Slipper Stakes

The $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes is the world’s richest race for 2YO horses.

  • Track: Rosehill
  • Distance: 1200m
  • Conditions: 2YO Set Weights
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $3.5 million
  • First Prize: $2 million
  • Sponsor: Longines
  • First Run: 1957
  • Reigning Champion: She Will Reign (2017)

Tancred Stakes (The BMW)

The Tancred Stakes, formerly The BMW due to sponsorship is a lucrative weight-for-age race held at Rosehill offering a ballot exemption into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Sydney Cup.

  • Track: Rosehill
  • Distance: 2400m
  • Conditions: Weight-for-age
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $1.5 million
  • First Prize: $877,500
  • Sponsor: BMW
  • First Run: 1963
  • Reigning Champion: Jameka (2017)

TJ Smith Stakes

The TJ Smith Stakes is the richest sprint race in Sydney during the autumn.

  • Track: Randwick
  • Distance: 1200m
  • Conditions: Weight-for-age
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $2.5 million
  • First Prize: $1.4 million
  • Sponsor: Darley
  • First Run: 1997
  • Reigning Champion: Chautauqua (2017)

Doncaster Mile

The Doncaster Mile is the feature race on Day 1 of The Championships with $3 million on offer in the 1600m classic.

  • Track: Randwick
  • Distance: 1600m
  • Conditions: Open Handicap
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $3 million
  • First Prize: $1.75 million
  • Sponsor: The Star
  • First Run: 1866
  • Reigning Champion: It’s Somewhat (2017)

Queen Elizabeth Stakes

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the richest race of the autumn and headlines The Championships Day 2.

  • Track: Randwick
  • Distance: 2000m
  • Conditions: Weight-for-age
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $4 million
  • First Prize: $2.34 million
  • Sponsor: Longines
  • First Run: 1851
  • Reigning Champion: Winx (2017)

Sydney Cup

The Sydney Cup is the other Group 1 race over two miles along with the Melbourne Cup in the spring.

  • Track: Randwick
  • Distance: 1200m
  • Conditions: Handicap
  • Status: Group 1
  • Prize Money: $2 million
  • First Prize: $1.17 million
  • Sponsor: Schweppes
  • First Run: 1862
  • Reigning Champion: Polarisation (2017)

2018 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Betting

Futures racing odds on the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2018 Group 1 races are open well ahead of the events. Some of the major all-in Group 1 racing odds for the autumn can be accessed by following the market links in our “Key Races” section above.

Betting on the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival  is hugely popular and all the standard horse racing bet types are available, along with a host of exclusive promotional betting markets and specials on selected races.

Many punters use the lead-up races held in Victoria during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival as a guide to their Sydney Autumn betting selections as a host of horses come out of the events down south.

Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival betting is also often dominated by Group 1 doubles, that is backing a horse to win two pre-determined races like The BMW (now Tancred Stakes)- Sydney Cup.

2018 Major Race Days

Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival winner Lucia Valentina

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the richest Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival race and was won in 2016 by Lucia Valentina. Photo Credit: Ultimate Racing Photos.

See below for the full breakdown of the major Race Days held throughout the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2018.

CHIPPING NORTON STAKES DAY

Date: Saturday March 3, 2018

Racecourse: Warwick Farm

Feature Races –

The opening Group 1 race meeting of Sydney’s Autumn Racing Carnival is headlined by the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) for milers run under weight-for-age conditions and the recently upgraded Group 1 Surround Stakes for three-year-old fillies.

The only Warwick Farm major race day of the carnival, the line-up also features three Group 2 events including two Golden Slipper lead-up races in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) for the juveniles.

RANDWICK GUINEAS DAY

Date: Saturday March 10, 2018

Racecourse: Royal Randwick

Feature Races –

  • Group 1 $1,000,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m)
  • Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m)
  • Group 2 $500,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m)
  • Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 2 $300,000 Todman Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Aspiration Quality (1600m)

Royal Randwick hosts its first Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Group 1 with the three-year-old staying types running over the mile in the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m), many going on to attempt the Rosehill Guineas over more distance later in the carnival. The Randwick Guineas winner is exempt from ballot from the major three-year-olds’ race of the season, the ATC Derby.

The other elite level is the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) that offers a ballot exemption to the winner for the George Ryder Stakes and the Doncaster Mile.

Plenty of Group 2 support races including more Golden Slipper trials for the two-year-olds in the Reisling Stakes (1200m) for the fillies and the Todman Stakes (1200m) for the young colts and geldings.

COOLMORE CLASSIC DAY

Date: Saturday March 17, 2018

Racecourse: Rosehill Gardens

Feature Races –

  • Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m)
  • Group 3 $350,000 Sky High Stakes (2000m)
  • Group 2 $200,000 Ajax Stakes (1500m)
  • Group 2 $200,000 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m)
  • Group 3 $175,000 Magic Night Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 3 $175,000 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m)

Rosehill Gardens hosts Coolmore Classic Day in mid-March headlined by the fillies and mares facing off in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) where Queen Of The Turf Stakes hopes strut their stuff.

While only holding Group 3 status, the Sky High Stakes has a juicy $350,000 on offer that is more than the Group 2 races on the program.

More Doncaster Mile-bound runners face off in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) before the Golden Slipper race continues with a ballot exemption into the classic on offer to both the Magic Night Stakes and Pago Pago Stakes winners on this card.

GOLDEN SLIPPER STAKES DAY

Date: Saturday March 24, 2018

Racecourse: Rosehill Gardens

Feature Races –

  • Group 1 $3,500,000 Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 1 $1,000,000 George Ryder Stakes (1500m)
  • Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m)
  • Group 1 $700,000 The Galaxy (1100m)
  • Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m)
  • Group 3  $150,000 Epona Stakes (1900m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 NE Manion Cup (2400m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m)

A week after Coolmore Classic Day racing returns to Rosehill Gardens for Golden Slipper Stakes Day, which is host to a bumper five Group 1 races.

The day’s marquee event is the Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), the richest race for two-year-olds in the world with $2 million on offer to the winning youngster.

The Golden Slipper is supported by a quartet of other elite levels including Doncaster Mile-bound runners in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) that Canterbury Stakes horses usually back up in.

The Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) is a traditional weight-for-age lead-up into The BMW (now Tancred Stakes) run over the mile and a half under the same conditions, and also offers a ballot free ride for the winner into the lucrative Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Sydney Cup over the two miles.

The short-distance sprinters get a chance for a juicy pay day Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) that leads up to the TJ Smith Stakes, while the three-year-olds coming out of the Randwick Guineas run in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) ahead of the ATC Derby and ATC Oaks.

TANCRED STAKES DAY

Date: Saturday March 31, 2018

Racecourse: Rosehill Gardens

Feature Races –

  • Group 1 $1,500,000 Tancred Stakes (2400m) – Formerly The BMW
  • Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m)
  • Group 2 $200,000 Tulloch Stakes (2000m)
  • Group 2 $200,000 Emancipation Stakes (1500m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Doncaster Prelude (1500m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 TL Baillieu Handicap (1400m) – now The Schweppervescence Handicap

The third Rosehill Gardens Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival feature meeting is H E Tancred Stakes Day in late March with a double shot of Group 1 racing for punters including The Tancred (2400m) for WFA stayers.

It is supported by the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) for three-year-old fillies eyeing a run over more distance in the upcoming ATC Oaks at Randwick.

The best of the other races on the card holding black type status are the Queen Of The Turf Stakes ballot exemption offering Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) for fillies and mares and the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) leading up the rich mile feature – The Doncaster Mile – the following month.

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS

DAY 1: DONCASTER MILE DAY

Date: Saturday April 7, 2018

Racecourse: Royal Randwick

Feature Races –

  • Group 1 $3,000,000 Doncaster Mile (1600m)
  • Group 1 $2,500,000 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 1 $2,000,000 Australian Derby (2400m)
  • Group 1 $1,000,000 Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m)
  • Group 2 $300,000 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m)
  • Group 3 $200,000 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m)
  • Group 3 $200,000 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m)
  • Group 3 $200,000 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 3 $200,000 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)

The Championships kicks off at Royal Randwick in early April each Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with Doncaster Mile Day featuring four Group 1 classics including the lucrative Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) handicap clash.

The sprinters run under WFA conditions in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) sponsored by Darley before the staying three-year-olds take to the track in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) over the mile and a half.

The last of the Group 1s is the two-years-old Inglis’ Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), with five other Group status races across the 10 race card.

The longest distanced race of the carnival to date is the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) for Sydney Cup hopes, while the ATC Oaks-bound fillies get a lead-up run in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).

DAY 2: QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES DAY

Date: Saturday April 14, 2018

Racecourse: Royal Randwick

Feature Races –

Day 2 of The Championships is one of the most anticipated Australian race days of the year with the autumn’s richest race, the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) heading the lucrative line-up.

The weight-for-age Queen Elizabeth Stakes that brings a field coming out of lead-ups including the previous year’s Epsom Handicap and The Metropolitan, as well as the Ranvet Stakes, Tancred Stakes and Doncaster Mile from the current season.

The other major race on the card is the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) run over the traditional Cup distance of two miles like the famous Flemington equivalent – the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.

Also on offer for punters is the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), also known as the ATC Oaks, for three-year-old fillies and the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) for female gallopers only.

ALL AGED STAKES DAY

Date: Saturday April 21, 2018

Racecourse: Royal Randwick

Feature Races –

  • Group 1 $600,000 All Aged Stakes (1400m)
  • Group 1 $500,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 Frank Packer Plate (2000m)
  • Group 3 $150,000 James HB Carr Stakes (1400m)

The last official day of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival taking place after the two-day The Championships festivities is All Aged Stakes Day, home to the final two Group 1 races of the autumn.

The weight-for-age sprinter / milers run in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), while the two-year-olds get a shot at a final Group 1 in the Champagne Stakes (1600m) over a mile.