Flemington Racecourse

Flemington Racecourse is a major horse racing venue located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is most notable for hosting the Melbourne Cup, which is the world's richest handicap and the world's richest 3200 metre horse race. The racecourse is situated on low alluvial flats, next to the Maribyrnong River. The area was first used for horse racing in March 1840.[1]

Flemington Racecourse
Main grandstand during the 2013 Melbourne Cup
LocationFlemington, Victoria
Coordinates37°47′25″S 144°54′45″E
Owned byVictoria Racing Club
Date opened1840 (1840)
Screened onSeven Network
Network 10
Course typeFlat
Notable racesMelbourne Cup
Victoria Derby
LKS Mackinnon Stakes
Emirates Stakes
Newmarket Handicap
Australian Cup
Official website


The Flemington Racecourse site comprises 1.27 square kilometres of Crown land. The course was originally leased to the Victoria Turf Club in 1848, which merged with the Victoria Jockey Club in 1864 to form the Victoria Racing Club. The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. In 1871 the Victoria Racing Club Act was passed, giving the VRC legal control over Flemington Racecourse.

The racecourse is shaped not unlike a pear, and boasts a six-furlong (1,200 m) straight known as 'the Straight Six.' The track has a circumference of 2.312 kilometres (1.437 mi) and a final straight of 450 metres (490 yd) for race distances over 1.2 kilometres (1,300 yd). Races are run in an anti-clockwise direction.

The course has a crowd capacity of over 120,000 and contains three grandstands. The biggest ever attendance was on Victoria Derby Day in 2006 when 129,069 people saw Efficient win the Victoria Derby.[1] The racecourse has undergone a facelift in recent years, with the opening of a new $45 million grandstand in 2000 and the opening of a new members' grandstand in 2018. It also contains a bronze statue of the famous racehorse Phar Lap, which was donated to the Club as part of Australia's bicentenary celebrations in 1988. Also in celebration was the commission of Harold Freedman's seven panel mural which traces the History of Racing.[2]. The mural is housed is in The Hill Stand, built in 1977.

Flemington Racecourse was added to the Australian National Heritage List on 7 November 2006,[3] announced during the 2006 Melbourne Cup.[4] The site is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.[5]

Flemington Racecourse today hosts many of Australia's top races, including the Melbourne Cup, Victoria Derby, VRC Oaks, Mackinnon Stakes, Newmarket Handicap, Australian Cup and Lightning Stakes.


The site has its own railway branch line, which operates on race days, bringing visitors to the adjacent railway station. Originally, it was serviced by Salt Water River station, before that was demolished in the 1860s and replaced with a station on the present site. Trains depart from platforms 8 and 9 at Flinders Street Station. The No. 57 tram from the City (Elizabeth and Flinders Streets) stops at the Epsom Road entrance.

Car spaces for the disabled are available and taxi ranks are located adjacent to the main entrances. Shuttle buses run from Epsom Road to the main turnstiles of the racecourse. Lift access is available in the Prince of Wales Stand and to the first floor of the Members Stand.


The following is a list of Group races which are run at Flemington Racecourse. All races in metres.[6]

Grp Race name Age Sex Weight Distance Date
1 Ascot Vale Stakes 3YO Open sw 1200 November
1 Australian Cup Open Open wfa 2000 March
1 Australian Guineas/Cadbury Guineas 3YO Open sw 1600 February
1 Black Caviar Lightning Open Open wfa 1000 February
1 Cantala Stakes/Emirates Stakes Open Open hcp 1600 November
1 Myer Classic 3YO+ F&M wfa 1600 November
1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes Open Open wfa 2000 November
1 Melbourne Cup Open Open hcp 3200 November
1 Newmarket Handicap Open Open hcp 1200 March
1 The Age Classic Open Open wfa 1200 November
1 Turnbull Stakes 4YO+ Open sw+p 2000 October
1 Victoria Derby 3YO Open sw 2500 November
1 VRC Oaks/Crown Oaks 3YO Fillies sw 2500 November
2 A.V Kewney Stakes 3YO Fillies sw 1600 March
2 Blamey Stakes 3YO+ Open sw+p 1600 March
2 Craiglee Stakes Open Open wfa 1600 September
2 Edward Manifold Stakes 3YO Fillies sw 1600 October
2 Gilgai Stakes Open Open sw+p 1200 October
2 Salinger Stakes Open Open hcp 1200 November
2 Hilton International Stakes 4YO+ Mares hcp 2000 November
2 Rose Of Kingston Stakes 4YO+ Mares sw+p 1400 October
2 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes 2YO Open sw 1400 March
2 Wakeful Stakes 3YO Fillies sw+p 2000 November
3 Aurie's Star Handicap Open Open hcp 1200 August
3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes 2YO Fillies sw+p 1200 March
3 Bobby Lewis Quality Open Open qlty 1200 September
3 Chatham Stakes/Yallambee Stud Stakes Open Open hcp 1400 November
3 Frances Tressady Stakes 4YO+ Mares sw+p 1400 March
3 Hotham Handicap/Saab Quality Open Open qlty 2500 November
3 Maribyrnong Plate 2YO Open sw+p 1000 November
3 Matron Stakes 4YO+ Mares sw+p 1600 March
3 Let's Elope Stakes 4YO+ Mares sw+p 1400 September
3 Rory's Jester Stakes 3YO Open sw+p 1200 November
3 Standish Handicap Open Open hcp 1200 January
3 C S Hayes Stakes 3YO C&G sw+p 1400 February
3 The Vanity[7] 3YO Fillies sw+p 1400 February
3 VRC Carbine Club Stakes 3YO Open sw+p 1600 November
3 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes Open Open qlty 2500 November
L VRC St Leger Stakes 3YO Open sw+p 2800 April


  • hcp - handicap
  • qlty - quality handicap
  • sw - set weights
  • sw+p - set weights with penalties
  • wfa - Weight for Age

See also


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