Racing horses on a grass track during a bright and sunny day. Photo: Getty Images.


2016 Spring Races around Australia to get your fancy pants on for

Published October 13th, 2016

It's time to take your mark, get set…SPRING RACING!

Here’s the deal, I’m a ‘races’ newbie and was recently telling a friend how difficult it is to figure out which are the best Spring Races to attend, where are they held and even more confusing what the dress code for each is.

Dress codes

Because apparently each race day has a different dress code beyond simply looking really really ridiculously good looking. For instance don’t even think about wearing anything but black and white at Derby Day.

And on that note, don’t even think about thinking that you’re better than the rules, this is not the time nor the place ladies and gentleman. So to help all of the other clueless racing newbies out there, here’s the rundown on the most important dates of Spring Racing Carnival season, and where to celebrate them.

Where to go?

First lesson newbies is that the main races happen in Melbourne split between Flemington and Caulfield racecourses. However to get all of Australia involved in Melbourne’s racing events, other race courses across the country host similar races on the same day and then in between they play the Melbourne races live on a big screen.

Right, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk location location location. For Sydney races, you will most likely head to either Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick, in Brisbane it’s Eagle Farm and Doomben Racecourses, for Perth it’s the Ascot Racecourse, Adelaide equals Morphettville Racecourse And Hobartians head to Tasman Park and Tattersall’s Park.

What are the different racing seasons?

When it comes to racing seasons, winter is typically Brisbane’s domain which then takes a backseat to Melbourne’s spring racing carnival. Following up is the Perth Racing Carnival and Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival before Sydney’s Autumn Carnival.

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Dates to put in the diary

However as we enter into the spring racing season, arguably the most important one of the year, these are the race dates to remember: 

Caulfield Cup Day - October 15

Dress code: No strict dress code however take this opportunity to step into spring ladies, with feminine dresses and a light and bright colour palette. A well cut suit will work nicely for the lads.


Derby Day - October 29

Dress code: Traditionally this is the day for elegance with a monochrome (black and white) palette for ladies while men often opt for a grey morning suit.


Melbourne Cup Day - November 1

Dress code: For the race that stops the nation, ladies can make a bold statement with colour and the men can mix it up with a well cut suit and a tie to match their lady’s outfit.


A photo posted by Brooke Hogan (@brookehogan1) on


Oaks Day - November 3

Dress code: Traditionally known as ladies day, this is the day for women to show off their femininity and grace. Think lace and chiffon, anything delicate. Men are encouraged to move towards a navy, linen and light grey suit.


A photo posted by Charlton Harvey (@charlton.harvey) on


Emirates Stakes Day - November 5

Dress code: At Flemington this is also known as family day and is the most relaxed of the four day carnival. Kids can come along and show off their style without looking too conservative or over the top.

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Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.