The Australian Autumn Racing Carnival is a busy time, in both the metropolitan cities of Melbourne and Sydney.

While owners and trainers are just getting over the efforts of the Melbourne Spring Carnival, they’ve had the Christmas and New Year break to plot their course through the months of February, March and April, with lots of good races and big prizemoney on offer in both locations for their charges.

Most quality horses are back in work, and it won’t be long before the Melbourne Autumn Carnival kicks off, with February putting the spotlight on the nation’s best sprinters, as a handful of Group 1 features come up for contention. These include:

Sat Feb 13 CF Orr Stakes 1400m Caulfield
Sat Feb 20 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes 1000m Flemington
Sat Feb 27 Blue Diamond Stakes 1200m Caulfield
Sat Feb 27 Futurity Stakes 1400m Caulfield
Sat Feb 27 Oakleigh Plate 1100m Caulfield
Sat Mar 05 Australian Guineas 1600m Flemington
Sat Mar 12 Newmarket Handicap 1200m Flemington
Sat Mar 12 Kewney Stakes 1400m Flemington
Fri Mar 24 William Reid Stakes 1200m Moonee Valley

Let’s not forget one of the middle distance features during March, the 2000m Australian Cup.

While Flemington celebrates Newmarket Handicap day on March 7th, the Sydney Autumn Carnival gets underway at Warwick Farm on the same day, with the running of the Chipping Norton Stakes. Expected to line-up in his first race since his W.S Cox Plate debacle will be Kiwi pocket rocket It’s A Dundeel, eyeing further riches on offer, including the Ranvet Stakes, The BMW, and the rich Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Sat Feb 27 Chipping Norton Stakes 1600m Warwick Farm
Sat Mar 05 Randwick Guineas 1600m Randwick
Sat Mar 12 Coolmore Stud Classic 1500m Rosehill
Sat Mar 19 Ranvet Stakes 2000m Rosehill
Sat Mar 19 Rosehill Guineas 2000m Rosehill
Sat Mar 19 The Galaxy Sprint 1100m Rosehill
Sat Mar 19 Golden Slipper Stakes 1200m Rosehill
Sat Mar 26 BMW Stakes 2400m Rosehill
Sat Mar 26 Storm Queen Stakes 2000m Rosehill
Sat Mar 19 George Ryder Stakes 1500m Rosehill
Sat Apr 09 Queen of the Turf Stakes 1500m Rosehill
Sat Apr 02 AJC Australian Derby 2400m Randwick
Sat Apr 02 TJ Smith Stakes 1200m Randwick
Sat Apr 02 AJC Sires Produce Stakes 1400m Randwick
Sat Apr 02 Doncaster Handicap/Mile 1600m Randwick
Sat Apr 09 AJC Australian Oaks 2400m Randwick
Sat Apr 09 AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2000m Randwick
Sat Apr 09 Sydney Cup 3200m Randwick
Sat Apr 16 All Aged Stakes 1400m Randwick
Sat Apr 16 AJC Champagne Stakes 1600m Randwick

Two things to be aware of during the Autumn are:

  • The continuation of the Global Sprint Challenge, with the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes being the first of ten legs in this sprint based event which includes events all over the globe.
  • The extra prizemoney on offer for three particular races, all thanks to the NSW State Government: The Doncaster Mile (A$3 million), the T.J Smith Stakes (A$2.5 million), and the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (A$4 million). All three races now become the richest events in the world over their respective distances, and we’re all looking forward to seeing who lines up on race day!