New racing season set to kick off at Flemington

2 August 2023 Written by VRC

This Saturday signals the start of the 2023-24 racing season at Flemington Racecourse with the running of VRC Season Premiere Race Day featuring the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap.

The day pays tribute to jockeys across the country for National Jockey Celebration Day. The Australia-wide initiative was launched by the National Jockeys Trust and Australian Jockeys Association in 2004 to recognise the contribution of former and current jockeys and remember the fallen.

The race day at Flemington will include a blessing of the track ceremony, beginning in the Mounting Yard at 2:52pm to mark the start of the new racing year and wish all jockeys and horses safe passage throughout the 2023-24 season.

VRC Season Premiere Race Day will also mark the start of this year’s Pin & Win program, raising funds for the VRC’s charity partner Australian Childhood Foundation.

For the first time this year, racegoers on Saturday will have an opportunity to purchase their miniature 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy pin as part of the annual community initiative. Pins start at $7.

Australian Childhood Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation supporting children to recover from the trauma of abuse and family violence, and is in its second year of partnership with the VRC.

Last year the VRC raised $493,000 through the Pin & Win initiative to support the significant work of the foundation.

The Racing

On the track, many of the state’s leading riders will be on show including Damian Lane who returns to racing at Headquarters following a stellar turn abroad including winning the prestigious G1 Japanese Derby aboard Tastiera.

Lane takes the reins on General Beau in the Aurie’s Star Handicap at 3:20pm.

The Aurie’s Star Handicap features an impressive honour roll including Group 1 winners Fields of Omagh, Hey Doc and Voodoo Lad and others to watch this year include Ingratiating, Chassis and Here to Shock who is looking to make it four wins in a row.

The race day will also feature the first edition of The Aspirant, a race which is restricted to Victorian trainers that have not had more than 50 metropolitan starters or more than five metropolitan winners in the 2022/2023 racing season.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the club was looking forward to a successful kick off to the 2023-24 season.

“We are excited to commence the new season at Flemington with the Aurie’s Star Handicap, the launch of the VRC’s annual Pin and Win charity program and an acknowledgement of jockeys across the country,” Mr Rosich said.

“Flemington has a strong connection to the community and we’re proud to provide a platform for fundraising year-round, including for the National Jockeys Trust and Australian Childhood Foundation.

“It is the first of 22 meetings at Flemington in the 2023-24 season and the last before we turn our attention to Group 1 racing with Sofitel Girls’ Day Out in September.”

Living Legends fan favourites Gailo Chop and Tom Melbourne will be on-course with racegoers able to visit them in the race day stalls or see them parade in the Mounting Yard between races 2 and 4.

Gates open at 10:50am ahead of race 1 at 11:50am.

VRC Season Premiere Race Day Program






VRC Members Sprint (1100 METRES)



VRC Member Pamela Perry Aspirant Sprint (1200 METRES)



VRC Member Matthew Hodder Plate (1410 METRES)



VRC Member Jennifer Lefebvre Trophy (1410 METRES)



VRC Member Barbara Stephens Trophy (2530 METRES)



VRC Member Simon Green Plate (2000 METRES)



Aurie's Star Handicap (1200 METRES)



VRC Member Lionel Moss Trophy (1620 METRES)



VRC Member Dennis Foley Sprint (1410 METRES)



Jockeys Celebration Day Sprint (1100 METRES)

Take a look at all the race day information and ticketing options.