Australian Group 1 racing

AUSTRALIA is home to some of the premier Group 1 races in the world.

Millions are spent by owners and trainers each year to secure the prime thoroughbreds to compete for riches beyond the average man’s wildest dreams.

For us dreamers it comes down to the punt and watching these prized race horses strut their stuff – with no better viewing than the Group 1 feature races around the country.

Much of this prize money is available through betting at various tote agencies and online sports betting sites, who pay money to the governing bodies, who in turn can give it back to the winning connections.

The Pattern Committee of the Australian Racing Board, prior to each racing season, decides which races will be given group and listed status.

The obvious biggest carrot on the Group 1 calendar is the Melbourne Cup, a 3200m staying race at Flemington racecourse; which these days is a race that attracts the best two milers in the world.

Other big races on the calendar include the Caulfield Cup, a race that is probably second only to the Melbourne Cup, in terms of prestige and it being the biggest race at Melbourne’s other city track Caulfield.

The Cox Plate is one of the richest races in the world and is often a good indicator of who will challenge for the Melbourne Cup, soon after. The Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double is something truly cherished on the Australian turf.

Below are all the Group 1 races scheduled for the 2020/21 racing season, although the dates for the 2021 races will not be released until later this year.

Group 1 race dates for 2020/21 season

August 22 Winx Stakes
August 29 Memsie Stakes
September 12 Makybe Diva Stakes
September 19 George Main Stakes
September 19 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes
September 25 Moir Stakes
September 26 Golden Rose Stakes
September 26 Underwood Stakes
October 3 Epsom Handicap
October 3 Flight Stakes
October 3 The Metropolitan
October 3 Turnbull Stakes
October 10 Spring Champion Stakes
October 10 Caulfield Guineas
October 10 Thousand Guineas
October 10 Caulfield Stakes
October 10 Toorak Handicap
October 17 Caulfield Cup
October 23 Manikato Stakes
October 24 Cox Plate
October 31 Victoria Derby
October 31 Cantala Stakes
October 31 Coolmore Stud Stakes
October 31 Empire Rose Stakes
November 3 Melbourne Cup
November 5 VRC Oaks
November 7
November 7 VRC Sprint Classic
November 21 Stakes
November 28 Winterbottom Stakes
December 5
February 6 C F Orr Stakes
February 13 Lightning Stakes
February 20 Blue Diamond Stakes
February 20 Futurity Stakes
February 20 Oakleigh Plate
February 27 Chipping Norton Stakes
February 27 Surround Stakes
February 27
March 6 Randwick Guineas
March 6 Canterbury Stakes
March 6 Australian Cup
March 6 Newmarket Handicap
March 13 Coolmore Classic
March 19 William Reid Stakes
March 27 Golden Slipper Stakes
March 27 George Ryder Stakes
March 27 Ranvet Stakes
March 27 The Galaxy
March 27 Rosehill Guineas
April 3 H E Tancred Stakes
April 3 Vinery Stud Stakes
April 10 Doncaster Handicap
April 10 TJ Smith Stakes
April 10 ATC Australian Derby
April 10 ATC Sires Produce Stakes
April 17 Queen Elizabeth Stakes
April 17 Sydney Cup
April 17 ATC Oaks
April 17 Coolmore Legacy
April 24 All Aged Stakes
April 24 Champagne Stakes
May 1 Australasian Oaks
May 1 TAB Classic
May 8
May 15 Doomben 10,000
May 15 The Goodwood
May 22 Doomben Cup
May 29 Kingsford-Smith Cup
May 29 Queensland Derby
June 5 Queensland Oaks
June 12 Stradbroke Handicap
June 12 JJ Atkins
June 26 Tattersalls Tiara

Group 1 race tracks

All of Australia’s group 1 races are held at major cities racetracks, namely in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It is somewhat of a rolling circus for trainers, jockeys and other people associated with racing with the major races and major players moving around the country chasing the biggest prizes.

Victoria’s capital is home to Flemington, Moonee Valley and Caulfield. Flemington plays host to the Melbourne Cup, Moonee Valley the Cox Plate and Caulfield the Caulfield Cup.

Flemington Racecourse

If you haven’t heard of Rosehill and Randwick and you’re an Australian racing fan, hang your head in shame. New South Wales trainers believe their racing is the best… But don’t tell the Victorians.

Randwick Racecourse

The home of group one racing in Western Australia is Ascot where the Railway Stakes, among others, are hosted.

The biggest race of the year is the South Australia Derby, held at Morphettville. While there are not many group 1s in the City of Churches, the locals truly embrace with big names like Makybe Diva, making the trek during their careers.

The Queensland capital has two group 1 tracks, which are Doomben and Eagle Farm.


Gold Coast
Is the most raced on track in Australia and plays host to the Group 1 Winter Cup, you guessed it, in winter.

Betting on group 1 racing in Australia

Australians have plenty of choice when it comes to how and where they bet on horse racing in Australia. Some of the obvious choices are at the track, where you can bet on the tote or with a bookmaker.

Probably the most popular way for Australians to bet in 2015 is via the Internet and online bookies, where you can get a swag of freebets through sign-up bonuses and offers for existing customers.

If you are on a mobile device you can download the app from the iOS App store or the Google Play store here, or if on another device you can visit the mobile sites from the below links.

You can read more about bookmakers for Australians here, or some of our favourites include:

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