The Darwin Cup Carnival


In Australia, the love of horse racing is very evident due in large part to the marvelous racing carnivals that are put on display every year. With the changing of the seasons, we are treated to the best in regional horse racing, as well as an array of special events and first class entertainment.


In the Spring, the Melbourne Cup Carnival, held at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, features many Group 1 fixtures as well as the world famous Melbourne Cup. The Melbourne Cup is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world with a purse of A$6,200,000. Of course, the carnival focuses on more than the horses. The ladies and gentlemen are encouraged to enjoy all the festivities that include fashion themes, family picnics and fine entertainment.


When Autumn rolls around, the nation’s attention shifts to Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney, Australia, for the Golden Slipper Carnival. The month long event features over 20 Group races, as well as organized festivities to keep the race-goers excited and entertained.


The Darwin Cup Carnival Details

Winter in Australia brings a change in weather patterns, which translates to cooler temperatures and dry weather. Under these ideal conditions, The Darwin Cup Carnival is given it’s day in the sun. This year’s month long carnival is scheduled for July 2 through August 1. The finest horse racing in the Northern Territory is held at the Fannie Bay Race Course in Fannie Bay. Along with eight days of exciting thoroughbred action, the Darwin Cup Festival also features a beautiful luncheon sponsored by Ladbrokes Australia, as well as the Qantas Darwin Turf Club Gala Ball, which is schedule for July 30, two days before the carnival’s featured racing event.


The Darwin Cup Carnival has been on the Northern Territory events schedule since 1956. While many of the nation’s top horses have been put away for the winter in anticipation of getting ready for the Spring’s three main events – The Caulfield Cup, W.S. Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup, the Darwin Cup Carnival still has a reputation for drawing some of the nation’s top horses, trainers and jockeys. The crowds are expected to be filled with 20,000 punters and horse racing enthusiasts from all over the world. Many of the area’s visitors will be equipped racing tips and their horse racing picks in one hand and a mug of ale in the other.


The Darwin Cup Carnival Horse Racing Schedule

Along with the luncheon and gala ball, there will be daily fashion events, entertainment and a family day picnic on race Day 2. Of course, the carnival’s main focus is horse racing. Each day of the carnival, punters will have the opportunity to wager on 6-8 races with a featured event schedule for each day. Here’s a look at the current racing schedule:


Race Day 1 (July 2) – On the same day as the “Pitch Perfect” singing competition, the featured race will be the HOT100 Darwin Guineas with a purse of A$70,000.


Race Day 2 (July 9) – It’s family picnic day with the featured event being the Chief Minister’s Cup, which is a major prep race or the Darwin Cup.


Race Day 3 (July 13) Ladies fashion is the call of the day, along with the featured A$50,000 Bridge Toyota Cup.


Race Day 4 (July 16) – It’s Derby Day, sponsored by Ladbrokes Australia. In the infield, the ladies will compete in another fashion extravaganza.


Race Day 5 (July 23) – The region’s best milers will get the chance to shine in the SKY Racing Metric Mile.


Race Day 6 (July 27) – Many of the region’s top business people will be hosting an array of corporate events centered around the day’s feature race, aptly named the Darwin Corporate Cup.


Race Day 7 (July 30) – The region’s top sprinters gather for the A$135,000 Palmerston Sprint (1200m), which is sponsored by bet365.


Race Day 7 (August 1) – As the fashion finals are held in the infield, the region’s top horses will be lining up for a purse of A$200,000 in the carnival’s main event, The Darwin Cup.


Visitors to the region will want to note that Darwin Cup day is currently listed as “SOLD OUT.” However, tickets, horse racing picks and racing tips should be available for the remainder of the carnival’s schedule.



As an avid horse race handicapper and veteran of online betting his contributions about Australian bookmakers can be found at

Leave a Comment