Sydneysider love to go all out when it comes to the Autumn Racing Carnival. One of the year’s biggest events celebrates the best horses while giving the city an excuse to dress up and let their hair down.
This year’s carnival, which starts on 16 March and ends on 20 April, features 45 group races, with over $33 million in prize money up for grabs. Over six weeks the program promises a series of exciting, glamorous events for horse racing aficionados, fashion lovers, and those who just love a fun day out.
Throughout March, most of the racing carnival events take place at Rosehill Gardens, located in Sydney’s west. Getting to Rosehill Gardens is easy. Catch the train from Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay or Central stations to Parramatta or Strathfield stations, or the F3 Parramatta River ferry service from Circular Quay to Parramatta Wharf. You can combine regular public transport services with free Rosehill Gardens shuttle bus services from Parramatta wharf, Parramatta station and Strathfield station. You can also call an Uber or 13Cabs (tel: 13 22 27).
Don’t miss the Chandon S Ladies Day on 16 March at Rosehill Gardens, where the racetrack comes alive with Australia’s best fillies and mares competing in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic. Ladies Day is the opening event of the 2019 Longines Golden Slipper Carnival and is a special day out with the launch of the Harrolds Fashion Chute competition. Contestants can enter the competition for their chance to share in over $50,000 in prizes across four competition days—Chandon S Ladies Day, Longines Golden Slipper Day and The Championships Day 1 and 2.
Patrons can also enjoy gourmet street food at the ”Eats at the Gardens“ precinct, and entertainment and activities throughout the carnival including the Toni&Guy Gold Lounge complimentary blow-dry, make-up touch-ups, fashion illustrations, pop-up bars including the Chandon S Easy Chic tram, and live DJs.
The pinnacle event of the 2019 Longines Golden Slipper Carnival is the Longines Golden Slipper Day on 23 March. Watch Australia’s biggest day of Group 1 racing including five Group 1s, headlined by the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper. The day will end with plenty of excitement, when Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes takes to the stage in a live concert after the last race.
In April, the racing carnival features events at Royal Randwick Racecourse, including Derby Day, which is the opening day of The Championships. This key event is often called the grand finals of Australian racing, where the best-of-the-best compete for over $20 million prizemoney across two consecutive Saturdays.
Derby Day is a thrilling day to be trackside to experience the fashion entertainment, award-winning hospitality and thrilling thoroughbred racing, featuring the Group 1 $2 million Harrolds Australian Derby and the Group 1 $3 million The Star Doncaster.
If you’re heading to the Autumn Racing Carnival, it’s a good opportunity to frock up and dress to impress. Ladies wear a sophisticated dress that reaches below the knees, a feathered fascinator or hat and a pair of heels, while men wear tailored pants, dress shoes, a collared shirt and tie and a jacket, sports coat or blazer. Entry dress codes apply to all race events.
To update your wardrobe before heading to a racing event, visit Stand Hatters in The Strand Arcade for a racing carnival-worthy headpiece. For a chic frock, at fashion labels Anthea Crawford in the Queen Victoria Building and Marina Rinaldi in Chifley Square you'll be spoilt for choice.