Spectacular start to March for Australian Guineas Day
The Victoria Racing Club’s autumn celebrations kicked off today with a special lunch for members and invited guests showcasing what Melburnians can expect this month as a part of the upcoming Flemington Racing Spectacular, which begins this weekend with Australian Guineas Day on Saturday.
The Long Lunch
Hosted by 3AW’s Jacqui Felgate and 7 Horse Racing’s Jason Richardson, today’s preview saw more than 380 guests enjoy a delicious four-course menu from Flemington Racing Spectacular guest chef Charlie Carrington, whose menu will be the highlight in a number of Flemington restaurants across the three race days.
VRC Chairman Neil Wilson was joined by a number of special guests at the lunch including sporting legend Ricky Ponting and his wife Rianna, Hall of Fame trainer and VRC Ambassador Gai Waterhouse OAM, designer Effie Kats, Australian high jumper Amy Pejkovic, 2022 Melbourne Cup Ambassador Demi Brereton, actress Sharon Johal, model and cricket WAG Sarah Czarnuch and VRC Ambassadors Paralympian Emma Booth and fashionista Crystal Kimber.
The lunch also saw over $5500 raised for The Royal Children’s Hospital’s Good Friday Appeal through a raffle, with further fundraising initiatives to take place on Super Saturday, Saturday 11 March and TAB Australian Cup Day, Saturday 25 March.
Today’s lunch sets the scene for a huge month of racing at Flemington during March, with Australian Guineas Day the perfect opener for the first of three sensational Saturdays in March at Flemington.
The Group 1 $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) will be a full field of elite three-year-olds competing for their chance at Group 1 glory.
Prized colt and two-time Group 1 winner Jacquinot heads the market for trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr, who will also saddle up Maximillius and Amenable in the race. He will face fierce competition from the Sam and Anthony Freedman trained Elliptical, who comes off an impressive win in the CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington two weeks ago which has proved to be a winning pathway on eight occasions.
Other highlights on the card include the Group 2 $300,000 Blamey Stakes (1600m) with the Lindsey Smith-trained Tuvalu and Lindsay Park’s Gentleman Roy among the field.
The $750,000 Inglis Sprint (1200m) for three-year-olds purchased at an Inglis Sale also continues to build momentum, with the race a lead in to this year's Inglis Premier Yearling Sale on 5, 6 and 7 March at Oaklands.
Off the track, the Flemington Fareground will be the perfect spot to spend the day, with The Elms transformed into an outdoor extravaganza featuring some of Melbourne’s yummiest food and beverage pop ups and live entertainment.
Children can go also go Into The Wild with a host of family friendly activations to keep them entertained including the chance to get up close and personal with some native Australian animals as part of an interactive learning experience from the Wild Action Zoo team.
The VRC’s charity partner on Australian Guineas Day will be Child and Racehorse Movement (CARM). CARM will come to life with a special activation in the Flemington Fareground which will provide a calm place for children to come and connect with miniature ponies throughout the day. CARM Ambassador and Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne OAM will also be on-course to participate in a Q&A session on the Fareground stage at 3:45pm and available for a meet and greet session at CARM Place from 4:00pm – 4:30pm.
The Front Lawn Beer Garden will be the place to be for a perfect autumn afternoon with food trucks and live entertainment. The party won’t stop after the last with Emma Peters on the decks spinning tunes for the ‘Front Lawn Party Hour’ to cap off a fantastic Australian Guineas Day.
Victoria Racing Club CEO Steve Rosich said the club was excited for a big month of racing at Flemington in March.
“Black Caviar Lightning Race Day attracted its biggest crowd in more than 10 years, and we are looking to keep the momentum going throughout March” Mr Rosich said.
“The racing action is some of the best in the world and combined with the fantastic entertainment and dining options on-course, the experience at Flemington will be unmatched.”
2006 Australian Guineas winner Apache Cat will return to Flemington alongside fellow Living Legend and Melbourne Cup winner Brew, with racegoers able to meet them in the race day stalls throughout the day or watch them parade in the Mounting Yard between races 2 and 4.
Gates open at 10.35am with Race 1 at 12.35pm and the last race at 5.40pm.
General Admission tickets are $25 per person with children under 12 admitted free. More information on ticketing for Australian Guineas Day can be found at Ticketmaster.