Corey Brown rides Rekindling to victory in the 2017 Melbourne Cup (Image: Racing Photos)

Corey Brown rides Rekindling to victory in the 2017 Melbourne Cup (Image: Racing Photos)

Popularity of Victoria's Spring Carnival grows

Racing Victoria has released figures relating to the spring carnival, with year-on-year growth coming in attendance, wagering, viewership and engagement.

The spring period from September 2 to November 25 saw attendances collating over 686,000 patrons, up 5.6 per cent from 2016, and domestic wagering turnover in that time climbing 5.4 per cent to $2.35billion.

Channel 7/7Two ratings grew 18.2 per cent, while Racing.com's digital audience for video views (replays/features) alone eclipsed 2.2 million.

Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson paid tribute to the clubs and racing participants for putting on the show, which saw the carnival cover Group 1 racing to country cups to picnic meetings.

"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.

"I want to acknowledge the clubs for their outstanding work in servicing our customers on raceday and the owners, trainers and jockeys, both from here and abroad, who again supported the Spring Racing Carnival in great numbers.

"I also want to thank the racegoers, punters and viewers who continue to embrace the Spring Racing Carnival and ensure that it remains an icon for the state of Victoria, together with our media partners for their ongoing and valued support."

Wagering
-        Total wagering turnover across all operators was $2.35 billion – up 5.4% year-on-year

-         An Australian record for turnover on an individual meeting was set with $334.5 million bet domestically on Flemington’s Emirates Melbourne Cup meeting – an increase of 2.2%

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

-         Improved track conditions and weather delivered significant wagering growth across a number of Country Cup meetings with Sale (49.5%), Dunkeld (44.6%), Hamilton (13.4%), Geelong (8.8%) and Kyneton (6.5%) among those to realise above average growth

-        Total turnover on the Caulfield Cup Carnival rose by 5.2%, however wagering on Cox Plate Day declined by 11.2% due in part to the dominance of $1.18 favourite Winx and a 9.1% reduction in average field sizes

Engagement
-        Television ratings on Channel 7/7Two grew by 18.2% for the 13 feature racedays broadcast from Memsie Stakes Day to Zipping Classic Day

-        Racing.com's combined live broadcast and streaming audience had a total reach of over 230,000 on each of the feature racedays

-         Over 2.2 million views of online videos on Racing.com – an increase of 32% - with the average weekly digital users increasing to 240,000 during the period

-        A total of 11.5 million minutes of live racing was streamed to the Racing.com digital platforms – an increase of 16% on the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival

-        The number of unique visitors to springracingcarnival.com.au – the hub for ticketing, hospitality and event information – grew by 13%

Participation
-        A total 1,835 horses – up from 1,769 in 2016 – competed 3,190 times with an average field size of 10.5 starters

-        269 horses, 112 trainers and 75 jockeys recorded individual wins at the 34 premier meetings

-        8,110 individual owners – up from 7,184 in 2016 – shared in $57.5 million in prizemoney and bonuses across these meetings