The most popular period of racing in Victoria each year is the infamous Spring Racing Carnival. Spanning 50 days, from late September to mid-November, the carnival includes around 80 meetings across the state and twenty country cups contested during this time. Country racing provides an experience like no other, in a relaxed style, get up close and personal with jockeys and trainers from all over the state, whilst enjoying all the racing action right from the Mounting Yard to the Winning Post. With so many stunning destinations in regional Victoria to choose from, it’s easy to get away for the weekend and discover the charm of the country.
The Hamilton Racecourse hosts the coveted 2,200m Hamilton Cup horse race annually in October. The richness of the land and surrounding Grampians on which the racecourse is located, offers a breathtakingly beautiful background for the races watched from. Choose prime viewing from of all the action from either the lush lawns or from one of the earliest surviving grandstands in Victoria. The Hamilton Cup is a fun racing event for the whole family, with punters coming along to bet on their favourite horse and hope they pick a winner. The cup is held at a typical country track, which means that casual attire is perfectly acceptable as well as picnics. 12 October. Racecourse Location: 437 Henty Highway, Hamilton, Victoria, 3300. Kms from Melbourne 285 kms (approx. 3.5 hours travel time)
Wodonga is a thriving hub of the Murray region and the energy and excitement of the town is captured at the Wodonga & District Turf Club races throughout the year. The Bet 365 Caulfield Cup carnival sets off the Wodonga Spring Racing calendar with style. From activities for the kids to marquee packages for the adults, this event has something for everyone. 19 October. Racecourse Location: Cnr Wilson & Hamilton Smith Dr, Wodonga, Victoria, 3690. Kms from Melbourne: 324kms (approx. 3.15 hours travel time)
The Blue Pyrenees Avoca Cup Day is the jewel in region’s racing crown as the Spring Racing Carnival kicks into gear. With a focus on having fun with friends among the racing action, race goers can enjoy live bands, children’s fun, big screen viewing and camping at the racecourse for $15 per site per night. Exhibiting country character, Avoca has some of the best facilities among country racetracks in Victoria whose club that has been operating for over 160 years. This magnificent region, located in the heart of the Pyrenees is well known for its wineries, art galleries, agriculture, the Pyrenees ranges and ideal for a weekend of regional exploration. 19 October. Racecourse Location: 307 Racecourse Road, Avoca, Victoria, 3467. Kms from Melbourne: 190kms (approx. 2.2 hours travel time)
Alexandra Race Club opens the Victorian Picnic Racing season on Cox Plate Day. Picnic Racing has a long history in Victoria with racing dating back to early eighteen hundred. This year’s season is opened with the Alexandra Race Club Cox Plate Day. Patrons will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with the option to drive into the racecourse, park under a tree and set up an esky and barby in the bus surroundings. The Alexandra Race Club also offers full catering and bar facilities. 26 October. Racecourse Location: 1 Gordon Street, Alexandra, Victoria, 3714. Kms from Melbourne: 164kms (2 hours)
The Sale Cup is Gippsland’s signature race day and is traditionally run on the Sunday after the Cox Plate in October. It is the premier race meeting in Gippsland featuring the listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Sale Cup that attracts top class horses, trainers and jockeys from the biggest stables in Australia. The Sale Turf Club is a great place to enjoy a day of country racing providing a relaxed and stunning environment for a day out. Sale Turf Club also has a fantastic viewing area of the horses in the mounting yard making you feel part of the action. 27 October. Racecourse Location: 1227 Maffra-Sale Road, Sale, Victoria, 3850. Kms from Melbourne: 220kms (2.5 hours)
Wangaratta has long been synonymous with its Melbourne Cup Day meeting, drawing crowds more than 5,000 people on racing's biggest day. Rich in history, legendary Mare, Makybe Diva began her amazing career with her maiden win over 1600m on a heavy track at Wangaratta in 2002. Indulge yourself with an Umbrella Package on the home straight for you and your friends. Alternatively, experience the Cup Day luxury of your own private marquee and upgrade your package to include food and beverages. Patrons won’t miss any of the action at Flemington’s Melbourne Cup with large screens streaming the races live will be dotted across the course. 5 October. Racecourse Location: 1-15 Racecourse Road, Wangaratta, Victoria, 3677. Kms From Melbourne: 249 kilometres (approximately 2.30 hours travelling time
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