Flemington to reflect, remember and pay respects on ANZAC Day

24 April 2024 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club will host the traditional ANZAC Day Race Day this Thursday 25 April, with the day dedicated to honoring the bravery of Australian and New Zealand soldiers, as well as our equine heroes who have fought in wars and conflicts.

Racegoers are invited to join the club for a day of remembrance which will include a special commemorative service, wartime heritage displays, Two-Up and top-quality horse racing.

Flemington Racecourse has a long and cherished history of racing on ANZAC Day which dates back 62 years and was first introduced to serve as a reminder of the men, women and horses who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

All current Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and Returned Service League (RSL) members get free general admission and a complimentary beverage at any retail bar between 1pm – 2pm.

The feature races on the program are the $200,000 Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) – a race that predates the Lexus Melbourne Cup – and the Listed ANZAC Day Stakes (1400m) for two-year olds. Jockeys allotted the top weight in each race will wear ANZAC commemorative silks.

The VRC St Leger has been won by the greats of the turf including Phar Lap and Tulloch. This year marks the 168th running of the race with Hall of Fame trainer and VRC Ambassador Gai Waterhouse AO aiming to equal her father’s record in the race by training her sixth winner with Ganbare alongside training partner Adrian Bott.

Young trainer Dominic Sutton will saddle up the unbeaten Feroce in the ANZAC Day Stakes with another main hope including Golden Slipper runner Rue De Royale for Tony and Calvin McEvoy who will have to carry the top weight of 60kg. Other races on the day pay tribute to past service men and women including the Flt Lt Peter Armytage Handicap, William Newton VC Handicap, WGCDR Ian Bayles DFC and the Colonel Sybil Irving MBE.

The iconic war-time game Two-Up will take centre stage on the Flemington Front Lawn with the historic ‘Come in spinner’ poem recited before the first spin at 12:30pm.

The traditional ANZAC Day Mounting Yard Ceremony will be held at 2:55pm and be led by the catafalque party followed by a performance of the New Zealand and Australian National Anthems from singer Josh Williams, who will be accompanied by the Moonee Valley Brass Band. The ceremony will include the laying of the wreath, The Last Post, a minute’s silence and the playing of The Rouse.

There will be a range of kids’ activities including lawn games, face painting and the annual tug-of-war against the jockeys.

Racegoers can also enjoy complimentary ANZAC biscuits baked by the Country Women’s Association with any tea and coffee purchase course wide.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said,

“The ANZAC Day Race Day is one of the most important days on the racing calendar and the VRC are proud to uphold this tradition which began more than 60 years ago.

It is an important day of reflection and there will be many opportunities for racegoers to pay tribute to all those brave people who have served their country,” Mr Rosich said.

“Flemington’s ties to the war-time efforts stretches back a long way, with the racetrack used as a training ground during World War II and the club hosting Victoria’s first legal game of two-up in 1991.”

"The racing program continues to also be a highlight on the day including the historic VRC St Leger and the ANZAC Day Stakes for two-year-olds.”

All profits on ANZAC Day Race Day will go to the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund on behalf of the VRC. As well as attending, racegoers will have the opportunity to donate directly to the ANZAC Appeal throughout the day or buy an ANZAC pin from representatives from the Watsonia RSL who will be located at the entry and roaming the across course throughout the day. For a gold coin donation people can ‘plant’ a poppy on the Front Lawn to create a beautiful red poppy installation.

Living Legends Pakistan Star and Fawkner will be on-course for racegoers to visit in the horse stalls and will parade in the Mounting Yard after races 2 and 5.

Ticket prices start at $20 for adults with children under 12 admitted free. For more ticketing information visit

Racing will next return to Flemington on Saturday 18 May for Andrew Ramsden Race Day where the Road to the Cup continues with a golden ticket into the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup on offer for the winner of the race.