The Australian Turf Club celebrated 150 years of Australian racing at the launch of the 2016 Autumn Carnival on Tuesday 1 March 2016. The launch honoured Australia’s leading racing heroes, while introducing a diverse group of new ambassadors to the Australian Turf Club family.
Australian actresses, Isabelle Cornish and Grace Huang media personality, Sylvia Jeffreys, Australian model Elyse Knowles and power couple Ronan and Storm Keating were announced as Australian Turf Club ambassadors, alongside Rachel Griffiths, the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival ambassador and L D R U who is set to perform on Schweppes Stakes Day, the last day of the Sydney Autumn Carnival. Leading racing personalities Chris Waller, James & Monica Cummings, Edward Cummings, Gabrielle Englebrecht, Hugh Bowman, Sam Clipperton and Winona Costin joined the celebrations, which finished with a spectacular lunch hosted by Australian Turf Club CEO Darren Pearce and COO Tony Partridge at The Stables, on level four of the Queen Elizabeth II Grandstand.
Friends of the ATC including Myer ambassador Jodi Anasta, Ksenija Lukich, Carissa Walford, Erin Holland, Nerida Winter, Laura Csortan, Tim Mannah and Little Sydney ambassador Matt Moran also joined the celebrations to officially kick off the six week bumper Carnival, which promises an impressive program of world-class racing and social activities.
Talking to the forthcoming Sydney Autumn Carnival, Australian Turf Club CEO, Darren Pearce said:
“This year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival offers Sydney’s racegoers and social set a world-class festival of thoroughbred racing, stunning fashion, entertainment and premium hospitality.
“Over six weeks, the world’s best horses, jockeys and trainers will compete across Sydney’s best racecourses for more than $34 million in prize money across 45 Group races – a $2.4 million increase from last year.”
The 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival from 12 March – 16 April features two of Australia’s biggest and most respected racing events, the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival and The Championships. The Carnival kicks off with three weeks at Rosehill Gardens including Cellarbrations Ladies Day, 12 March, Longines Golden Slipper Day, 19 March followed by Western Sydney Legends Day, 26 March over the Easter weekend. The Carnival then shifts to Royal Randwick for the third running of The Championships, the Grand Finals of Australian Racing, 2 and 9 April before concluding with Schweppes Stakes Day on 16 April.
Racegoers will witness history with the 60th running of the Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper, the world’s richest race for two year olds, as well as five other Group 1 races, on a day which is arguably one of the most celebrated sporting events of the year. The day will also feature the new ‘Fashion at the Races’ presented by Vogue and GQ Australia, judged by Vogue Australia’s Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann, as well as the Longines Award for Elegance, NOVA 96.9 Garden Party, pamper lounges and live music, making it a not-to-be-missed event this autumn.
The Championships, the Grand Finals of Australian Racing at Royal Randwick on 2 April and 9 April, in 2016 will offer prize money totalling $20 million – making them the richest two days in Australian Racing. The Championships Day 1 featuring the BMW Australian Derby on Saturday 2 April, set against a backdrop of traditional black and white fashion, will see world-class racing combined with premium hospitality and entertainment. The day features some of Australia’s most iconic races including the $2.5 million Darley TJ Smith Stakes, the $3 million The Star Doncaster Mile and the $2 million BMW Australian Derby. Myer
Fashions on the Field will take centre stage with both men and women’s categories, as well as a host of on course activations including the Clinique pamper lounge and pop up bars by Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Schweppes.
The Championships Day 2 at Royal Randwick on Saturday 9 April features the world’s richest 2000m turf race, the Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes worth $4 million, the Group 1 Cellarbrations Queen of the Turf Stakes, the Group 1 Australian Oaks and Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup over 3200m, now worth $2 million, a $400,000 increase from previous years. Myer Fashions on the Field will once again attract the fashion elite including the second Longines Award of Elegance for the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Little Sydney will again entice food lovers and Sydney’s gastronomical social set to Royal Randwick. Bringing back Sydney’s iconic restaurants Icebergs, Chiswick and China Doll this year, Little Sydney promises to be the hottest ticket to the track this Sydney Autumn Carnival. New to racegoers for 2016, Little Bondi will feature as a pop up on the Leger Lawn featuring dishes by Icebergs, The Bucket List and Da Orazio.
The bumper six weeks of Group 1 racing will culminate with a Royal Randwick finale on Schweppes Stakes Day 16 April, including a live performance by Australian artist L D R U for all racegoers to enjoy. For all ticketing, information and hospitality options, including exclusive dining and reserved seating options, visit www.theATC.com.au.
Photos by Fiora Sacco