The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the name of an Australian Thoroughbred horse racing series held annually in Melbourne during October and November each year. Although racing in Australia is held every day except Christmas Day, the Group One races in Melbourne are held almost exclusively throughout the carnival, which is traditionally placed between the football and cricket seasons. During the winter (where football is dominant), and summer (where cricket is dominant), racing takes a 'back seat' position in relation to the cricket or football in terms of media coverage and attendances. However, in spring and autumn, the mass media turns its attention to the racing. There is also a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, a time where Group One races are also held.
The Victoria Racing Club's meetings attract the most attention from the media and the wider community.
The Victoria Derby is held on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup. It is a set-weights race for three-year-old horses. There are also other major races held on this day as well, making it the biggest day in racing.
The Melbourne Cup handicap race is held on the first Tuesday in November, and is a public holiday in Victoria, but the Cup is witnessed by those all around Australia as well as internationally.
The VRC Oaks race is held on the Thursday following the Cup. It is a three-year-old fillies race, and traditionally it has been known as 'ladies' day'.
The VRC Stakes day is held on the Saturday following the Oaks, and traditionally it has been known as 'family day'.
The carnival, and particularly the Melbourne Cup attracts the interest of many people otherwise uninterested in horse racing, and special forms of very low-stake gambling are often used for this event. One common form for groups such as office staff is the "sweep", where each participant adds a small fee to a "pot" and draws the name of a horse like a raffle. Prize money is distributed to the person who draws the winning horse (occasionally smaller prizes are awarded to placegetters and the last-placing horse). A more complex and high-stakes form of the sweep is the "Calcutta", often held as a fundraising event for community organisations, which begins as in the sweep (though usually with a much higher initial stake), but which allows ticket holders to trade their tickets through an auction system.
Each major race day over the Melbourne Cup Carnival has a dedicated flower. Men will often wear designated flower in their buttonhole, and coordinate the respective colour with their shirt or tie. Women may also choose to incorporate the flower into their outfit, whether it be inspiration from the colour, wearing as a corsage or a hair accessory. For example, the Pink Rose is the dedicated flower for Crown Oaks Day. Many believe that wearing the right flower can bring good luck...
Here at the Crown Casino, the floral display of the foyer mirrors the Crown Oaks Day dedicated flower, the pink rose. In various other parts of the Casino and hotel similar floral displays feature this special flower.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.