Well known as a city of culture, history and style, Melbourne is also home to four of Australia’s premier racecourses. Attracting punters throughout the year, the city’s racetracks have seen countless championship horses gallop across their greens from as far back as the mid 1880s.
Top 4 Melbourne Horse Racing Venues
Just over 15 minutes drive from Melbourne’s city centre, Flemington Racecourse holds the pleasure of hosting the ‘race that stops the nation’, the Melbourne Cup, each and every year. The grounds also receive a good workout during the prestigious Spring Racing Carnival, seeing the Victoria Derby, the VRC Oaks and the Emirates Stakes run along the length of its 2,312 metre course. Throughout the year, a number of other races are run, such as the Turnbull Stakes, the Lightning Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap, seeing large crowds flock to the 120,000 person capacity venue.
The premier racetrack of the Melbourne Racing Club, Caulfield Racecourse is the home of the annual Caulfield Cup, the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Caulfield Guineas. Situated 8 km from the city centre, the course has had a colourful history spanning from the first race held in 1859 to its refurbishment and reopening in 1996, and on to the present day. Even across the years, the racecourse has remained one of the best and well regarded thoroughbred venues in the country.
Sandown Hillside Racecourse
Of the city’s metropolitan racecourses, Sandown Hillside is the furthest from the centre of Melbourne, at around 40 minutes drive from the CBD. Opened in 1965, the racecourse is also the youngest of the Victorian capital’s courses and is one of two tracks operating on the Sandown site. The Hillside track holds a circumference of 2,087 metres, while the nearby Lakeside track spans for 1,857 metres. The course is the home of the Sandown Stakes and the Sandown Classic, run annually.
Moonee Valley Racecourse
First established in 1883, Moonee Valley Racecourse has since evolved to become the home of the popular weight for age WS Cox Plate, Australia’s richest race of that type. Situated just 6 km from the city centre, the racecourse plays host to several other prominent races throughout the year, including the Manikato Stakes and the Australia Stakes, attracting attendees from across Melbourne and beyond.