Australian Group Races are the highest class of thoroughbred race in Australian racing. The Australian Racing Board approves recommended Group races which are then published in 'The Blue Book' by the Jockey Club in the United States to allow Australian feature races to receive international recognition. The most recognised group races in Australia are the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and WS Cox Plate, which are all Group 1 races.
Group races are divided into 4 categories;
Group 1 - at least $350,000 prizemoney - 60+ races per season
Group 2 - at least $175,000 prizemoney - 80+ races per season
Group 3 - at least $115,000 prizemoney - 110+ races per season
Listed (Group 4) - at least $80,000 prizemoney - 280+ races per season
Owners, breeders, trainers jockeys all aspire to win Group races, the bigger the better, and they are commonly referred to as 'Black Type' races and are more prominent at major racing carnivals, especially Melbourne and Sydney during autumn or spring. Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth also have prominent racing carnivals throughout the year.
Group races often have regular name changes due to new sponsorship deals but overall stay much the same, although a Group race may change status at any point in time if a particular race changes up or down in value according to set out criteria. Group races total over 540+ races each year and assume around 2-3% of total races held each season in Australia.
Australian Group Races 2014/2015 Racing Season
Australian Group Races 2015/2016 Racing Season
Below are the approximate dates of the first six months of the 2015/2016 racing season which kicks off on August 1st 2015. Please note that races and dates are not offical and are subject to change until the official announcement of the 2015/2016 racing season calendar.
Visit our Australian Group 1 Races page to see all Group 1 feature races held in Australia each year. For group racing results please go to our Group Races Results page where you will find winners and placegetters of all group races held in recent times.