Australia Stakes Day is the start of the Autumn Racing Carnival and features the first Group race for the calendar year in Melbourne. Held at the Moonee Valley Racecourse, the feature is the Group 2 Australia Stakes. Other races that complement the G2 sprint are the VOBIS Gold Star, two heats of The Valley Summer Sprint Series and a heat of The Valley Summer Stayers Series. In 2018 the racing will be a night fixture and will be ideally placed with Australia Day falling on a Friday. Moonee Valley has become home to so many first-class Group races throughout the Australian Racing Calendar, such as the Group 1 Manikato Stakes, the Group 1 Cox Plate and the Group 1 AJ Moir Stakes.
Australia Stakes Day coincides with Australia Day celebrations (January 26) that take place the same week. It marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson, New South Wales. Celebrations across the nation reflect our diverse society and landscape, with racing an integral part of our heritage, especially in the country.