Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse, home of the Melbourne Cup. Our unofficial guide to Flemington racetrack to help you win more at the races. Barrier position track map.
1000m, 1100m or 1200m starts use the ‘straight six’ (named for its six furlongs) with barriers placed at the end of the chute which leads into the home straight, giving one long straight run to the winning post. After years of confusion with runners heading to one side or the other, or both, the barriers were positioned in the centre of the track to make it fairer for all runners. Fields can be large with a maximum number of 22 runners. There is a theory that the prevailing wind can present a bias to the inside or outside rail, but it really is just a theory. Penetrometer readings can be a guide to determining which side of the track has the better going, although after many days of consecutive racing, such as during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the outside rail has seen less traffic and can be quicker. The outside rail can also be better in rain affected going or when the inside rail is positioned out 5 metres or more. These days, runners often head down the centre of the track until the concluding stages and there is usually little between the inside and outside runners.
1600m & 2500m starts are positioned right before a bend. Drawing an inside barrier at these starting positions can be an advantage, especially when the rail is out 5m or more.
1400m, 2000m & 3200m - with a long straight run before the turn at each of these starts, few horses are at a disadvantage. Most runners will have their chance, although it is always difficult to lead all the way at this track due to the long home straight. Barriers are usually of little importance, but if the rail is out there is a slight advantage to drawing an inside gate at 1400m & 2000m starts.
There are only a few races run over the 3200m start each year, including the Melbourne Cup. The maximum number of runners in the Melbourne Cup is 24, there are currently no emergencies due to the inability of the TAB system to accommodate them. In theory, the barriers should be of no consequence over the two miles, however trainers generally prefer to draw inside barrier 12. Pace is an important factor, the speed is usually genuine with one or more runners setting a quick tempo. It is hard to lead all the way, but even harder to win from absolute last. The ideal running position is just behind the leaders and one horse away from the inside fence.
See the Melbourne Track Bias Report for more on this weeks racing at Flemington including official track conditions, scratchings & weather.
Administration: Victoria Racing Club. www.vrc.net.au
Location: about 6 kms northeast of the Melbourne CBD, Flemington can be accessed by car, tram or train. Being adjacent to the Maribyrnong river also permits access by boat.
Feature Races: Highlight of the Melbourne racing calendar is the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival featuring one of the most well-known sporting events in the world - The Melbourne Cup. Other feature races at Flemington include the Australian Cup, Victoria Derby, VRC Oaks, Emirates Stakes, Mackinnon Stakes, Lightning Stakes, Turnbull Stakes & Newmarket Handicap.
History: The VRC first held its famous two-mile handicap event in 1861. It is now the richest race of this type in the world. The Melbourne Cup is always held on the first Tuesday of November, a public holiday in Victoria. All the winners of the Melbourne Cup become a part of Australian racing history, to date Makybe Diva has been the most successful runner with an unprecedented three wins in a row from 2003 -2005. In 2015 Prince of Penzance won at odds of 100-1 ridden by the first female jockey to win the Cup.
Melbourne Cup Carnival: There are four days of racing at Flemington during Cup Week. Each day during the Carnival has an official flower: for Derby Day is it a Corn Flower, Melbourne Cup Day is a Yellow Rose, Crown Oaks Day is a Pink Rose, and on Emirates Stakes Day is it traditional to wear a Red Rose. The Melbourne Cup Carnival is a celebration for the city with many activities for locals and visitors to enjoy on and off the course.
Melbourne Cup Statistics: Race record held by Kingston Rule (1990) 3 minutes 6.13 seconds. Last top-weight to win with Number One saddlecloth Makybe Diva (58kgs) in 2005. Since barrier stall were introduced in 1924, no horse has won from barrier 18. Last 3yo to win Skipton in 1941. Bart Cummings has won more Cups than any other trainer (12). First female trainer to win the Melbourne Cup Sheila Laxon (Ethereal 2001). First female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup Michelle Payne (Prince of Penzance 2015). Longest price winners: four horses have won the Melboourne Cup at 100–1: The Pearl (1871), Wotan (1936), Old Rowley (1940), and Prince of Penzance (2015).
About Flemington Racecourse - Victoria, Australia.
Home of the Australian Cup, the Victoria Derby and the Melbourne Cup.
Flemington Track Bias, Starting Distances, Barriers Map
The Melbourne Cup Carnival - Flemington Spring Racing in November.
What to wear at Flemington races
Members Dress Code at Flemington is suit, sports coat or blazer with a tie for men, ladies are asked to dress to a 'suitable standard in keeping with the dignity of the Members' Enclosure.' When attending the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, many racegoers dress to this code even if they are not in the Members Reserve.
The flowers for Cup Carnival Racedays are:
Victoria Derby - Cornflower
Melbourne Cup - Yellow Rose
Oaks Day - Pink Rose
Emirates Stakes - Red Rose
There are many features throughout the year at Flemington including the Newmarket Hcp and Australian Cup in March, Makybe Diva Stakes in September and the Standish & Bagot in January.
But the highlight of the racing year at Flemington is Melbourne Cup week, with four days of Group One racing at racing headquarters. The week begins on Saturday, Victoria Derby day.
The Melbourne Cup has been run on the first Tuesday in November since 1875, the previous Saturday sees the running of the Victoria Derby. Known as Super Saturday, all the races on the card are Group races, four at Group One. It is a critical day for many horses who are still trying to gain a run in the Melbourne Cup, as a win or place in the Mackinnon Stakes or the Lexus Stakes may assure them a place in the field.
Melbourne Cup day on Tuesday usually has a ten race race card and an early start, with the Melbourne Cup being run at 3pm. There is an hour of betting time before the big race to ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to place their bets. Melbourne Cup day is a public holiday in Victoria.
On the following Thursday Flemington hosts the Oaks, also known as Ladies Day. While it is not a holiday, attendance on course is strong. On the Saturday the Melbourne Cup Carnival officially closes with the Emirates Stakes, Family Day.
All four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival are popular with racegoers, it is a fully ticketed event and tickets must be purchased before arrival on course. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com.au and from railway stations on race days.
With a Sportsbet account you can bet on the Melbourne Racing Carnival online or on your phone 24/7 so no matter where you are, you'll never miss a bet. Join here and you could qualify for an exclusive Bonus Bet offer.
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About the Flemington track: circumference is 2313 metres, length of the home straight is 450 metres. New turf and a camber on the right hand side have dramatically improved the track with little bias on either side of the track and an equal advantage to those racing on the pace and finishing from behind. When the going is Good Flemington offers a very consistent surface that suits most runners regardless of the rail position. In rain affected conditions runners will be taken wide to avoid ground near the inside rail. Barriers are usually of little importance, although it can be an advantage to start from an outside gate in the sprint races when the rail is out.