The Australian Guineas in Flemington
The Australian Guineas is a race held by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) in Flemington, Melbourne every March. The event is in the Group One category, meaning it is the highest possible level of a Thoroughbred Race. Horses must be three years old, and the race is held on the same day as the TAB Reward Stakes and the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes. It’s also an important part of Melbourne’s VRC Autumn Racing Carnival but besides all of this the Australian Guineas race is a great day out for everyone, from families with children to young couples to networking colleagues.
Facts and Figures
First run in 1986 over 1600 metres, the Australian Guineas is a set-weight event and was originally a Group Three race. From 1987 it has been a Group One event and is still 1600 metres long, although from 1998 to 2000 it was run over 2000 metres. With a purse of more than 500,000.00 Australian Dollars this event has always attracted top-notch riders and past winners include Zabeel (one of the greatest sires to come out of Australia) in 1990, Mahogany in 1994, Pins in 2000, Al Maher in 2005 and Shamrocker in 2011.
This track, owned by the VRC, is on the Victorian Heritage Register and the Australian National Heritage List. It first used back in the March of 1840, so it really has a proud history and even contains a bronze statue of Phar Lap. In addition to the Australian Guineas race, the Flemington grounds also host the prestigious Melbourne Cup which is the richest horse race in the country and several other elite events. The course has something of a pear shape to it, and features a six-furlong straight called The Straight Six. Its final straight for races over 1,200 metres (including the Guineas event) is 450 metres. This makes the track, which is always run in an anti-clockwise direction, very challenging and the races that it hosts are always a real joy to watch.
A Great Day Out
The grounds contain three grandstands and can support a crowd of over 120,000, so everyone who comes out to watch the Australian Guineas should find a place. Aside from the world-class racing and betting, there’s plenty of other entertainment. Picnic baskets can be enjoyed on the expansive lawns, or visitors can choose from several world-class restaurants which are perfect for hobnobbing or romance. There are also various activities and stage performances aimed at children, and a Race Day Tour which is run on the day of every major event. Great moments in racing and fashion at the premier Australian racetrack are brought to life, and it’s also possible to watch a race from the exclusive vantage point of the mounting yard and have a tipple in the Owners and Trainers Lounge. This is a good way to get into the swing of things and will only deepen punters’ understanding and appreciation of the racing events and all that goes into them. Individuals will come away from the Guineas at the Flemington track with a sense of heritage – and hopefully a few more coins of their own!