The spring racing carnival continues to be as popular as ever according to figures released by Racing Victoria.
The figures reveal an increase in attendance, wagering, viewership and engagement of the 2017 carnival that began at Caulfield on September 2 and ran until the Ballarat Cup meeting on November 25.
More than 686,000 people attended meetings across Victoria through the period, an increase of 5.6 per cent on 2016, while domestic wagering turnover grew by 5.4 per cent to $2.35 billion.
Feature race day viewers on Channel 7/7Two grew by 18.2 per cent with average weekly users on Racing.com rising 31 per cent year on year.
RV chief executive Giles Thompson said the figures were positive news for Victorian racing.
“The spring racing carnival has long been regarded as Australia’s pre-eminent racing carnival and these figures from 2017 solidify the importance of this event to the state of Victoria and more broadly to the sport of thoroughbred racing,” Thompson said.
* Total attendance 686,425 with 71.6 per cent at metropolitan meetings and 28.4 in country Victoria
* Attendance at Moonee Valley’s Cox Plate carnival grew 30.1 per cent, with the Friday night meeting up 44.1 per cent
* The Caulfield Cup three days grew each day for a total attendance of 55,443
* Melbourne Cup week attendance was down just 2.6 per cent to 310,000 despite reduced capacity with the members grandstand under construction
* Domestically $334.5 million was bet on Flemington’s Melbourne Cup meeting, an increase of 2.2 per cent
* Domestically $204.5 million was wagered on the Melbourne Cup, the third time it has topped $200 million
* Total turnover on the Caulfield Cup rose by 5.2 per cent
* Wagering on Cox Plate day fell 11.2 per cent in part because of Winx and a 9.1 per cent reduction in field sizes
* 1835 horses – up from 1769 in 2016 – competed 3190 times with an average field size of 10.5 starters
* 269 horses, 112 trainers and 75 jockeys recorded individual wins at 34 premier meetings
* 8110 individual owners – up from 7184 in 2016 – shared $57.5 million prize money and bonuses