The Melbourne Cup Carnival always starts on Victoria Derby day nicknamed ‘Derby day’. Derby day is arguably the best day of racing on the Australia racing calendar with every race on the day being graded a Group 1, Group 2 or Group 3. This is the only race meeting in Victoria each year that can boast that each race is a Group race.
Day 1 of the Melbourne Cup 2020 Carnival this year starts on the 31st October 2020.
List of the days in the Melbourne Cup Carnival:
|1||Saturday 31st October 2020||Victoria Derby day|
|2||Tuesday 3rd November 2020||Melbourne Cup day|
|3||Thursday 5th November 2020||VRC Oaks day|
|4||Saturday 7th November 2020||Mackinnon Stakes Day|
Victoria Derby day
Victoria Derby day is held on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup each year, the day starts the week long Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington racecourse hosted by the VRC (Victorian Racing Club).
The Victoria Derby is a Group 1 race for 3YO Colts and Geldings run over a distance of 2500m for a total prize pool of $1.5 million dollars. Derby day as its often called is not only about the racing for some patrons it is often revered as the major race day for Fashions on the Field for the guys.
Despite only being a Group 3 race the Hotham Handicap also provides a lot of interest with the winner getting ballot exemption into the Melbourne Cup. This is the last spot on offer in the Melbourne Cup field.
In 2006 Derby day broke the Flemington crowd record when 129,089 people came through the gates. The record before this was held by the 2003 Melbourne Cup in which Makybe Diva won her first Cup.
The raceday flower for Victoria Derby day is the blue cornflower. Last years winner was Extra Brut.
Melbourne Cup day
Melbourne Cup day is the most anticipated racing event each year, although it can be said the quality of racing on the day may be below par compared to Derby day. But when you have the Melbourne Cup being run you don’t need any other quality races to build the anticipation for the race.
The Cup is a 3200m race under handicap conditions and is classified as a Group 1 race. In recent years more and more internationals have made the trip to Australia to tackle the $8 million dollar event due to the lack of quality stayers Australia is currently producing.
The Melbourne Cup is annually held on the first Tuesday in November with the day being a half day public holiday in Victoria and a full day holiday in Melbourne.
VRC Oaks day
Oaks day as it is usually called is also nicknamed ladies day. Oaks day is annually held on the Thursday after Melbourne Cup day with the feature race on the day being the Group 1 VRC Oaks over 2500m for 3YO Fillies worth $1 million dollars. The meeting was introduced in 1962 by the Victorian Racing Club to try and introduce more women into racing, it has grown to be the benchmark Fashions on the Field day for many fashionista’s.
Mackinnon Stakes day
Mackinnon Stakes day or also known as simply Stakes day is the final day on the Melbourne Cup Racing Carnival. The race itself is worth $2 million dollars and is run over 2000m at Flemington racecourse. The race use to be run on Derby Day although the VRC changed the programming of the Melbourne Cup Carnival so the race was the feature event on the last day of the Carnival.
The Mackinnon Stakes is the last of the feature races during the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.