Racing Victoria launches spring carnival in Melbourne

Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
Flemington – the epicentre of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. (Racing.com)
THE 2017 Spring Racing Carnival was officially launched on Friday in a glitzy gathering at Albert Park, Melbourne.

The season proper commences at Caulfield on Saturday with the $1 million Group One Memsie Stakes – one of several high-profile races to have received a significant boost in prize money this year.

It is the first of 21 Group One titles on the calendar in 2017.

“The Spring Racing Carnival is Australia’s most famous racing carnival attracting annual attendances of 650,000 and generating over $700 million in economic benefit for the state of Victoria,” said Racing Victoria CEO Giles Thompson.

“It is also widely respected internationally and a target for the world’s best trainers and jockeys. Having celebrated our 200th international competitor last year, we are again set to welcome horses from seven countries to Victoria this spring.

“With so many storylines waiting to be written across three months of world class racing, the stage is set for another memorable Spring Racing Carnival commencing with tomorrow’s $1 million Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.

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“While the spotlight has always shone brightest on Victorian racing in October and November, we’re making a concerted effort to showcase our racing throughout September – the opening month of the Spring Racing Carnival.

“With meetings like tomorrow’s Memsie Stakes, Sofitel Girls’ Day Out at Flemington (16 September) and the launch of the night racing season at Moonee Valley (29 September), September is a great time to dress up and get trackside.

“On the track, we’re delighted to be offering record prizemoney and bonuses of over $77 million for this year’s Carnival, with minimum prizemoney increased for non-feature races and three new million dollar races created.

“The races are calling this spring and we look forward to welcoming people to race meetings across the state to enjoy the very best Victoria has to offer.”

The Spring Racing Carnival will run for the next three months, concluding with the Ballarat Cup on Saturday, November 25.

Highlight events include the Caulfield Cup (October 21), Cox Plate (October 28), Victoria Derby (November 4), Melbourne Cup (November 7) and Emirates Stakes Day (November 11).