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Victorian Spring Carnival Continues To Grow

The popularity of Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival continues to grow with figures released by Racing Victoria showing significant increases in attendance, wagering, viewership and engagement.

Victorian Spring Carnival Continues To Grow

The popularity of Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival continues to grow with figures released by Racing Victoria showing significant increases in attendance, wagering, viewership and engagement.

The 2017 carnival showcased elite thoroughbred racing, alongside fashion, food and entertainment from 2 September to 25 November at racetracks across Victoria.

The Spring Racing Carnival attracted more than 686,000 attendees – an increase of 5.6% on 2016 – while total domestic wagering turnover grew by 5.4% to a record $2.35 billion.


Television ratings for feature raceday broadcasts on Channel 7/7Two grew by 18.2% during the period, while the average weekly users on Racing.com rose by 31% year-on-year.

With 40% of its digital audience based outside Victoria, Racing.com was a key destination for customers over the Carnival with more than 2.2 million views of online replays and video features.

On the racetrack, Victoria welcomed 21 internationally-trained horses from England, France, Germany, Ireland and Scotland taking to 227 the number of internationals that have now travelled to Melbourne to compete in the Spring Racing Carnival since 1993.

Attendance at the two-day Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival was up 30.1% with the Friday night Manikato Stakes crowd growing by 44.1% and Cox Plate Day a sold-out 32,712;

Attendances also grew on each of the three days of the BMW Caulfield Cup Carnival for a total of 55,443;

Total attendance at the Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival was over 310,000 people – a decline of 2.6%.

Total attendance across 17 major Country Cup meetings grew by 5.1% with Avoca, Ballarat, Bendigo, Dunkeld, Geelong and Wodonga those attracting more than 6,000 attendees.

Wagering turnover across all operators was $2.35 billion – up 5.4% year-on-year with an Australian record for turnover on an individual meeting set with $334.5 million bet domestically on Flemington’s Melbourne Cup meeting – an increase of 2.2%;

Total domestic wagering turnover on the Melbourne Cup topped $200 million for just the third time with $204.5 million invested.

Total turnover on the Caulfield Cup Carnival rose by 5.2%, however wagering on Cox Plate Day declined by 11.2%.

Over the spring carnival a total 1,835 horses – up from 1,769 in 2016 – competed 3,190 times with an average field size of 10.5 starters while 8,110 individual owners – up from 7,184 in 2016 – shared in $57.5 million prizemoney.

RV Chief Executive Giles Thompson said the figures were further positive news for Victorian racing following the recent release of strong results for the 2016-17 financial year and major prizemoney increases announced for the 2017-18 racing season.

“The Spring Racing Carnival has long been regarded as Australia’s pre-eminent racing carnival and these figures from 2017 solidify the importance of this event to the state of Victoria and more broadly to the sport of thoroughbred racing,” Thompson said.

“The Spring Racing Carnival delivers over $700 million annually to the Victorian economy and plays a crucial role in bringing together the community, particularly in regional locations, to enjoy a memorable sporting and social occasion.

“The growth in attendance, wagering and engagement across the duration of the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival is thanks to the hard work and commitment of many stakeholders who combined to deliver exceptional racing and great raceday experiences for our customers.”

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