Australian Horse Racing: a National Pastime
Australia’s oldest sporting activity is horse racing. Since the early days of this former British colony, racing has been enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Today Australia boasts over 400 tracks –more than any other nation.
It is estimated that fixed-odds betting on Australian horse racing has grown significantly over the last few years -- from $14.3 billion wagered in 2009 to $22 billion today, according to TAB. Racing is responsible for the permanent employment of tens of thousands of Australians both directly and in associated industries.
Furthermore, almost every Australian adult (99.9%) has participated in the third most attended spectator sport in the country., even if they only bought a ticket for a small bet in the office round-up for the Melbourne Cup.
One of the most valuable factors in providing financing to this sector is funds from sponsorship races like the AMMI Victoria Derby and other Group 1 Australian races that provide greater stakes than nearly all other races around the world.
To add to the “cultural heritage” feel of these races, most major meetings and annual racing cups, derbies and stakes races have developed a carnival atmosphere by attracting and including fashion, arts and entertainment aspects, ensuring that there really is something for everyone in the world of horse racing.
2017 Australian Racing Calendar & Past Videos
This year’s most prestigious races on the Australian racing calendar include the Melbourne Cup and the VRC Sprint classic.
Winx was also crowned 2015-2016 Australian Horse of the Year. In April Winx won her 12th Group 1 race, winning the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at the Randwick track.
To better understand the magic of Winx, watch her in action as well as other great horse racing videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptrcDjJOWFs
For more horse racing videos, visit Sky Racing World, which features replays of your favourite racing moments.
The current list of G1 races on the September - November horse racing calendar for 2017 are as follows:
Everest: One of the world's richest turf races will be held in Australia for the first time this year on October 13 at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. The Everest is highly anticipated by horse racing fans the world over, with a total prize purse of $10,000,000.
The entry fee for horse race owners is an estimated $600,000, making the stakes high for this prestigious 6f race. A restricted race this weight-for-age sprint is a highlight on the 2017 horse racing calendar and will be unlike any other horse racing experience down under.
Favourites for the race include an elite line-up of champion sprinters namely, Chautauqua, She Will Reign, and Caravaggio.
Races leading up to the event also include Randwick Groups 2 The Shorts (1100m) in September and the weight-for-age Group 2 Premiere stakes (1200m) hosted on the same track.
Everest Race Information:
The Cox Plate: The Cox Plate known as "the race where legends are made" is Australia's weight-for-age championship. A Group 1 thoroughbred horse race for horses aged 3yo in the weight-for-age category. A distance of 1m 1/4, the race will be held at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne Australia in late October and has a prize purse of $3,000,000.
Past winners of the race include many champion race horses from Australia and other countries. Some of the past winners have been champions of the race more than once, namely Winx (the most recent champion of the race), Kingston Town and So You Think. Favourites for this year’s race is the brilliant mare Winx.
The Cox Plate Race Information: Track: Moonee Valley Racecourse Date: Friday night October 20, 2017 (US Time) Distance: 1m 1/4 Status: Group 1 Prize Pool: $3,000,000
The VRC Sprint Classic is a highly anticipated event, owing to its $1 million AUD purse.
This year the race will take place once again at Flemington, where some of the world’s best horses will compete to win the group 1,6f weight for age, including last year’s winner, 5yo gelding Malaguerra who beat Speith by a hair. (watch this video for more information on Malaguerra’s performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCyaNehPsyE).
The race will take place this year on Friday night 10th November. The same day also features the G1 Emirates Stakes and marks the last day of the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne.
The VRC Classic is the second-last leg of the 'Global Sprint Challenge', a series of ten sprint races across six nations. The Australian races are held on the final day of the Flemington Spring Carnival in November.
The current list of G1 races on the November horse racing calendar are as follows:
Flemington Wed, 08 Nov Crown Oaks 1m 9/16 Fri, 10 Nov VRC Sprint Classic 6f Fri, 10 Nov Emirates Stakes 1m 1/4
Australian horse racing fans can enjoy the action from anywhere in the world by visiting Sky Racing World to watch live videos of all the upcoming races.