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April 3, 2021

Australia’s iconic destination Sydney is ready to host a month-long program of world-class sporting and entertainment events this April – headlined by the spectacular The Star Championships at thoroughbred racing’s world-famous Royal Randwick.



Sydneysiders, intrastate and interstate visitors are expected to converge on the Harbour City for one of horse racing’s biggest and most prestigious carnivals, supported by a stellar line-up of cultural and sporting events as spectators return in growing numbers to major events throughout Sydney.

From classic horse racing, “La Traviata” opera on Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Royal Easter Show, to blockbuster NRL, AFL and A-League matches, Sydney continues to set the pace for live events. Leading the charge is the vibrant Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, offering a kaleidoscope of world-class racing, fashion, entertainment and award-winning hospitality.

The Star Championships at Royal Randwick across two Saturdays on 10 and 17 April features an astounding eight Group 1 races including the 160th running of the Bentley Australian Derby, the time-honoured The Star Doncaster Mile and the $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Schweppes All Aged Stakes Day marks the Carnival finale on 24 April. Off the track during The Star Championships fans can indulge their unique Sydney style in the Autumn Fashion Stakes and Longines Prize for Elegance competitions and celebrate being back with live DJs, pop-up bars, world-class hospitality experiences featuring menus by Culinary Ambassador Chase Kojimo of The Star’s famed Sokyo and “The Playground”, a new vibrant garden party at Royal Randwick. As part of the carnival’s live entertainment line-up racegoers can also dance to time-travelling DJ, Hot Dub Time Machine on 10 April and rock out to a number of Noiseworks and INXS classics with the legendary Jon Stevens in the Theatre of the Horse after the last race on 17 April.

The six-week Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival is a major contributor to the NSW economy attracting attendances of up to 112,000 people and generating expenditure in NSW of $66.8 million* across retail, fashion, hospitality, accommodation and tourism. Of this, $14.3 million* is spent on fashion, beauty and grooming with one in three women purchasing a new outfit and 50 per cent of men purchasing a new outfit every time they attend the races.

In addition to the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, “La Traviata” on Sydney Harbour, a story which inspired the hit movie Moulin Rouge, features 70 performers on stage and a 3.5 tonne chandelier sparkling with 10,000 crystals, making it one of the world’s most popular opera experiences. The performance, which is receiving rave reviews, runs at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair to the stunning backdrop of Sydney’s iconic Harbour from 26 March to 25 April.

Tickets for the event are in hot demand and it is anticipated Handa Opera events on Sydney Harbour in 2021 through to 2023 will collectively attract around 30,000 international, interstate and intrastate visitors, generating more than $25 million for the NSW visitor economy.  Other key Sydney major events and attractions in April include the Sydney Royal Easter Show at Sydney Showgrounds in Sydney Olympic Park which after a year on hiatus due to COVID-19 is back bigger and better than ever to keep families entertained across the school holidays from 1-12 April. Sydney FC takes on arch-rivals Melbourne City FC at Leichhardt Oval on 10 April, Western Sydney Wanderers line up against Central Coat Mariners on 6 April and there’s one of the blockbuster AFL matches of the season, the hotly anticipated Sydney Swans versus GWS Giants local derby on 17 April at the SCG. Action-packed NRL fixtures also play a starring role right across Sydney throughout April, including the Canterbury Bulldogs vs Melbourne Storm match on 10 April at Stadium Australia.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival showcased many of Sydney’s strengths, from world-class hospitality and entertainment to the city’s capacity to host COVID-safe major events.

“There’s nothing like a day at the races, and the Australian Turf Club Autumn Carnival is sure to deliver the fashion, fun and energetic entertainment event-goers look for when visiting Rosehill Gardens or Royal Randwick.

“Sydney is open for business and bursting with things to do, from enjoying theatre and live performance, exhilarating sports events and Sydney Royal Easter Show, to our incredible attractions and exceptional retail, bars and restaurants. There’s so much to love, you really need to book a city escape and plan a full Sydney itinerary to even scratch the surface of the Harbour City – and importantly you’ll be supporting our local businesses.

“The NSW Government is proud to partner with the Australian Turf Club for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival to keep Sydney’s events calendar shining, support the racing community and suppliers involved in the program, and to show our confidence in COVID-safe events leading the recovery of the state’s visitor economy.”

Australian Turf Club CEO Jamie Barkley said: “Sydney is a global city and the home to some of the very best thoroughbred racing anywhere in the world.

“A day at Royal Randwick in Autumn is one of Sydney’s time-honoured events and we are delighted to welcome bigger crowds back to the track this April. From the great tradition of the Australian Derby and The Doncaster Mile on The Star Championships Day 1 to the ultimate prize and glamour of the $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Sydney gets its time to shine this Autumn and to celebrate our spectacular city.’’

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