Each year, as winter turns to spring, the city of Melbourne and indeed the entire state of Victoria come alive with excitement ahead of one of Australia’s most historic sporting spectacles; the Spring Racing Carnival. From Saturday, 1 September through to Saturday, 24 November, the nation will again be captivated by a festival of world-class thoroughbred racing.

An 86-day extravaganza, the Spring Racing Carnival sees more than 650,000 people descend on the racetrack – and millions more tune in on TV – to witness the world’s best horses, trainers, jockeys and owners competing for over $80 million in prizemoney and bonuses.

Whether it’s on the TV, in the paper or at the track, the thrill of racing inspires excitement in us all. And with 136 race meetings spread across Victoria’s famed racing theatres, there’s a whole lot to get excited about. From Flemington to Manangatang, Country Cups to the race that stops a nation, it’s no wonder the Carnival has grown into one of the world’s greatest sporting and social events.

This year, the action begins with Memsie Stakes Day at Caulfield, and draws to a close with the Sportsbet Ballarat Cup. In between, the Carnival features some of the world’s most illustrious Group 1 races, including the $5.15 million Stella Artois Caulfield Cup, the $5.05 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate and, of course, the $7.3 million Lexus Melbourne Cup.

The Spring Racing Carnival is a truly spectacular event. Whether watching or partaking, on the track or off it, people are drawn to the thrill of the action as great sporting moments collide with the finest food, fashion, entertainment and the vibrancy of Spring.

Discover more about some of the Spring Racing Carnival feature races below.