Flemington Racecourse is one of the world’s great racecourses and home to the Melbourne Cup. Located on the banks of the Maribyrnong River, Flemington is Australia’s most recognized race track and is unsurprisingly located in Melbourne, Victoria. Today the Melbourne Cup is promoted as part of November’s Spring Racing Festival which has many of its features races at Flemington. The track also hosts an Autumn festival.
Whereas the Melbourne Cup Carnival is the highlight of the spring, the Australian Cup meeting is the highlight of the autumn. With racing going off each month of the year, Flemington is also home to 14 Group 1 races over that time. Nowadays, the Victoria Racing Club administers the racing at Flemington which often hosts crowds in excess of 100,000 people, especially during the festivals.
Flemington Race Course History
Where today stands a racecourse, once stood a cattle and sheep farm owned by Robert Fleming. Back then the ranch was known as Fleming Town which diluted over time into Flemington. The first race meeting in Melbourne took place in 1838 at Batman Hill. Two years later, racing was moved out of the city to Saltwater Flat by the Maribyrnong.
Although not the track’s first operating club, the Victoria Turf Club leased the course in 1848 and over the next decade, profited greatly as Melbourne oversaw a huge expansion of population and wealth, generated by the 1850’s gold rush. In 1864, the Victoria Turf Club merged with the Victoria Jockey Club to form the Victoria Racing Club and by 1871 were the sole operators of Flemington Racecourse. With a proper racecourse and a legitimate governing force behind it, Flemington was free to establish the Melbourne Cup. The first Melbourne Cup took place in 1861 in front of 4,000 people and would go on to become Australia’s most famous horse race, before long attracting 100,000 people.
The first Secretary of the Victoria Racing Club, R.C. Bagot, for whom the New Year’s Day Bagot Handicap is named, bought in training facilities and upgraded the ground over time. In 1925 the old member’s grandstand was built, and in 1977, the Hill Stand was completed on the site of the old grandstand. Up until the late 1960s, the birdcage was the stand of choice for racegoers who, for a fee, could take their wives and girlfriends into an exclusive stand.
In 2000, the new $45 million grandstand opened, and more recently, Flemington injected another $128 million into another new stand that opened in time for the 2018 Melbourne Cup, finally allowing Flemington to take its place among the elite racecourses of the world.
Flemington is the proud owner of a bronze statue of one of Australia’s most famous racehorses Phar Lap which was donated to the club in 1988.
Race Course track configuration
- Circumference is 2,312 meters
- 450 meter straight
Flemington race track bias
Flemington is a spacious course with one of the longest straights in Australia at 450 meters. Such a long track allows all horses an equal chance, as does the 1200 meter Straight Six track. The Straight Six is named for the straight section of running room that lasts six furlongs. Races can be won by horses who either like to lead, keep on pace, or come from behind and make a late charge.
Flemington Racecourse is a roomy track, shaped like a pear with sweeping turns and long straight. This is a large course with a circumference of 2312 Metres. It is perceived as quite a fair track with wide sweeping bends, although when the going becomes softer, there are definite track biases which are worth looking out for. Large galloping types of horses often do well at Flemington.
Flemington race track best trainers
Over the seasons, Flemington has seen many legendary horses win here. Names like Archer, Carbine, Rain Lover, Think Big and, of course, the iconic Phar Lap. Each of these champions owes their success to the trainers that conditioned them for the Flemington tracks. Which is why it’s so important to know who’s prepared your tip for success.
To that end, these are the top five performing trainers right now at Flemington:
- Darren Weir (27% win rate)
- James Cummings (21% win rate)
- Mick Price (20% win rate)
- Danny O’Brien (19% win rate)
- David A & B Hayes & Tom Dabernig (8% win rate)
Flemington race track best jockeys
Australia’s best gallopers head to Melbourne each year to provide some of the most exciting thoroughbred racing action seen anywhere in the world. All kinds of different racing styles can triumph at Flemington if they are up to the task and ridden by a capable jockey.
Right now, these are the top five in-form jockeys to watch out for:
- Dean Yendall (40% win rate)
- Damien Oliver (23% win rate)
- Dwayne Dunn (19% win rate)
- Craig A Williams (17% win rate)
- Jye McNeil (17% win rate)
Flemington Racing Season
There are around 25 meetings at Flemington each year, including Australia’s biggest race The Melbourne Cup which goes on the first Tuesday of November every year as part of their Spring Festival. Yes, we know, November is hardly spring, but it is to the Australians which also explains why their Autumn Festival takes place in March. It is in the March Festival when the Australian Cup goes. The Australian Cup is one of the feature distance races in Australia held over 2000 meters and boasting a total prize pool of $1,500,000.
Another premier race to consider is the Group 1 November chaser the LKS Mackinnon Stakes. This is a race for three-year-olds and started out in 1869 as the Melbourne Stakes, changing names in 1937. Up until 2014, it was held on the same day as the Victoria Derby. First run in 1855, the Victoria Derby is also for horses of three and up and has $1.5 million in the purse. Finally, look out for the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes. Held in early November, this is a great form tester for feature cups such as the Caulfield. In all, racing here takes place from January through December.
Flemington race track stakes and Graded Stakes
LKS Mackinnon Stakes
Flemington Race Course address and website
448 Epsom Rd, Flemington VIC 3031, Australia