Flemington Racecourse

Last updated

Flemington Racecourse
Flemington main stand, 2013 Melbourne Cup.jpg
Main grandstand during the 2013 Melbourne Cup
Location Flemington, Victoria
Coordinates 37°47′25″S144°54′45″E / 37.79028°S 144.91250°E / -37.79028; 144.91250 Coordinates: 37°47′25″S144°54′45″E / 37.79028°S 144.91250°E / -37.79028; 144.91250
Owned by Victoria Racing Club
Date opened1840;182 years ago (1840)
Screened on Seven Network
Network 10
Course type Flat
Notable races Melbourne Cup
Victoria Derby
LKS Mackinnon Stakes
Emirates Stakes
Newmarket Handicap
Australian Cup
Official website

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]



Aerial panorama of Flemington Racecourse. Taken August 2018. Aerial panorama of Flemington Racecourse.jpg
Aerial panorama of Flemington Racecourse. Taken August 2018.

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 pear-shaped, 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] On 28 November, 1986, Pope John Paul II celebrated the Mass on the racetrack inner oval. 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]

GrpRace nameAgeSexWeightDistanceDate
1 Ascot Vale Stakes 3YOOpensw1200November
1 Australian Cup OpenOpenwfa2000March
1 Australian Guineas 3YOOpensw1600February
1 Black Caviar Lightning OpenOpenwfa1000February
1 Makybe Diva Stakes OpenOpenwfa1600September
1 Cantala Stakes OpenOpenhcp1600November
1 Empire Rose Stakes 3YO+F&Mwfa1600November
1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes OpenOpenwfa2000November
1 Melbourne Cup OpenOpenhcp3200November
1 Newmarket Handicap OpenOpenhcp1200March
1 VRC Sprint Classic OpenOpenwfa1200November
1 Turnbull Stakes 4YO+Opensw+p2000October
1 Victoria Derby 3YOOpensw2500November
1 VRC Oaks 3YOFilliessw2500November
2 A.V Kewney Stakes 3YOFilliessw1600March
2 Blamey Stakes 3YO+Opensw+p1600March
2 Edward Manifold Stakes 3YOFilliessw1600October
2 Gilgai Stakes OpenOpensw+p1200October
2 Linlithgow Stakes OpenOpenhcp1200November
2 Matriarch Stakes 4YO+Mareshcp2000November
2 Rose Of Kingston Stakes 4YO+Maressw+p1400October
2 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes 2YOOpensw1400March
2 Wakeful Stakes 3YOFilliessw+p2000November
3 Aurie's Star Handicap OpenOpenhcp1200August
3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes 2YOFilliessw+p1200March
3 Bobby Lewis Quality OpenOpenqlty1200September
3 Chatham Stakes OpenOpenhcp1400November
3 Frances Tressady Stakes 4YO+Maressw+p1400March
3 Hotham Handicap OpenOpenqlty2500November
3 Maribyrnong Plate 2YOOpensw+p1000November
3 Matron Stakes 4YO+Maressw+p1600March
3 Let's Elope Stakes 4YO+Maressw+p1400September
3 Standish Handicap OpenOpenhcp1200January
3 C S Hayes Stakes 3YOC&Gsw+p1400February
3 The Vanity [7] 3YOFilliessw+p1400February
3 VRC Carbine Club Stakes 3YOOpensw+p1600November
3 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes OpenOpenqlty2600November
L VRC St Leger Stakes 3YOOpensw+p2800April


180-degree panorama of the racecourse Flemington-race-course-180-degree.jpg
180-degree panorama of the racecourse

See also

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  1. 1 2 100,000 and more – but nobody's counting Archived 4 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Insight into a nation's track record
  3. Flemington Racecourse National Heritage Listing Archived 27 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Flemington now a National Treasure Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Flemington Racecourse, Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H2220", Victorian Heritage Database, Heritage Victoria, archived from the original on 7 May 2011, retrieved 16 September 2010
  6. Australian Group races Archived 16 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  7. The Vanity 2008 result Archived 27 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine