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Melbourne's Spring Carnival Guide | The Top Events
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Melbourne's Spring Carnival Guide | The Top Events

Picture of Ainsley Koch
Updated: 9 February 2017
The Spring Racing Carnival holds a firm place in Melbourne’s sporting and cultural identity. Flemington Racecourse is a world-renowned venue, and in 2006, it was placed on Australia’s National Heritage List. The gold rush era of the 1850s gave Melbourne the status of Australia’s most dynamic city, and the Melbourne Cup became a must-attend social event, attracting over 100,000 people annually and featuring top-class sport, fashion plus food and wine.
The big grandstand at Flemington Racecourse | © Ute Raabe
The big grandstand at Flemington Racecourse | © Ute Raabe

The Spring Racing Carnival not only creates a dynamic social scene for the city of Melbourne but also maintains a sporting culture that is enjoyed on an international level. If you are planning on attending a race day this year and are unsure about what to wear, take note of the Myer Spring/Summer Fashion Launch, which showcased the hottest trends to hit the racetrack this year — Alex Perry exhibited dresses with pops of color and a lot of black. Romantic feminine looks with plenty of lace were also displayed, plus strong colors and vivid contrasts were common. If you are looking to stand out from the crowd, monochrome is the trend to follow.

As the Melbourne Cup is the highlight of the Spring Racing calendar, here is a guide to the biggest events held during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Myer Spring Fashion Lunch

If you’re wondering what events the racing season has to offer, look no further than The Myer Spring Fashion Lunch. This event is all about fashion, food and wine on September 10. Racegoers have the chance to secure themselves a custom-made millinery piece created by designers such as Kim Fletcher and Phillip Rhodes.

Myer Spring Fashion Lunch, The Atrium, Level 2, The Grandstand, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Rd, Flemington, VIC, Australia

Fashions on the Field | © Ute Raabe
Fashions on the Field | © Ute Raabe

Sofitel Girls’ Day Out

The real festivities begin on September 12 with the first big race day of the season. The Sofitel Girl’s Day Out is all about commemorating the return of the Spring Racing season while celebrating femininity and all the beauty that spring has to offer. Be sure to visit Paris Lane, a free event showcasing Australia’s most talented and sought after milliners and offering millinery workshops, live music plus gourmet food and wine for all patrons.

Sofitel Girls’ Day Out, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Flemington, VIC, Australia

Winner | © Ute Raabe
Winner | © Ute Raabe

Turnbull Stakes Day

Shortly after is Turnbull Stakes Day on October 4. A day for men to show off their finest suits and put on their best dress shoes, this event is considered one of the most important days of racing preparation for Melbourne Cup contenders. Look out for the winner of the main race — this could be a horse to watch!

Turnbull Stakes Day, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Flemington, VIC, Australia

Derby Day

For those of you who enjoy the classic look and prefer wearing classic monochrome rather than colors, then Aami Victoria Derby Day is for you. This event is considered the most glamorous on the racing calendar and is all about sophistication and elegance. Black and white is the traditional theme for women, while men opt for a morning suit, peacock vest and pin-stripe pants. Also considered the most social event of the season, you can expect to see plenty of corporates and celebrities alike. Derby Day is held on October 31.

Derby Day, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Flemington, VIC, Australia

Flemington Roses | © Ute Raabe
Flemington Roses | © Ute Raabe

Melbourne Cup Day

The highlight of the racing season is the Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, traditionally held on the first Tuesday in November; in 2015, this is November 3. This iconic event is a mix of racing, fashion and exquisite hospitality and entertainment. The Myer Fashions on the Field competition continues to be a festival highlight. Being amongst the crowd of more than 100,000 people, this is an event truly not to be missed, as you will witness racing history being made.

Melbourne Cup Day, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Flemington, VIC, Australia

Flemington Racecourse | © Ute Raabe
Flemington Racecourse | © Ute Raabe

Oaks Day

Crown Oaks Day continues the celebrations for the ladies. This day is all about the romantic and delicate looks on trend this season, so be sure to celebrate the vibrancy of spring in your outfit. Once again, Fashions on the Field is a main event of the day and the social atmosphere will, once again, bring friends and family together. Crown Oaks Day is held on November 5.

Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Flemington, VIC, Australia

Stakes Day

Emirates Stakes Day concludes the Spring Racing festivities on November 7 and is considered the ‘family day’ of the racing season. As the competition of horse racing begins to wind down, free family events are held off the track, with live entertainment and kids activities. The fashion is relaxed and understated — perfect for parents wanting to get their kids involved. The Emirates Stakes Day Fashions on the Field is centered on the kids this time, giving the younger generation a chance to show off their taste in fashion and win some great prizes.

Stakes Day, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Flemington, VIC, Australia

By Ainsley Koch

Ainsley Koch is studying a Bachelor of Journalism at Monash University. She is originally from Tasmania, but moved to Melbourne in 2013 for study. She is interested in health and fitness and also loves fashion.