Making your TV viewing decisions easy

Spring Racing Carnival hits full stride this weekend on Seven

SportKevin Perry
   Lucia Valentina - One of the big hopes for the Melbourne Cup on Seven  image source -  

Lucia Valentina - One of the big hopes for the Melbourne Cup on Seven
image source -

As the home of horse racing on free-to-air TV, Seven heads to Flemington for LIVE coverage of the iconic Melbourne Cup Carnival featuring Australia’s premier thoroughbred racing, and fashion and celebrities from around the world.

The Carnival jumps out of the barriers on Saturday with what many racing purists consider the best single day of thoroughbred racing in Australia. Victorian racing’s premier three-year-old classic, the Victoria Derby is the feature event for stayers over 2500m. It’s the only all-Group race day on the calendar and includes three other Group 1 races the Mackinnon Stakes, Myer Classic and Coolmore Stud Stakes.

Two days before the nation’s greatest race, our experts examine all the form in our special Melbourne Cup Preview Show on Sunday morning. From the locals to the internationals, our team of experts hosted by Bruce McAvaney dissect and analyse every Cup hopeful to help you back a winner.

Melbourne viewers will also see the annual Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Celebrating its 31st birthday this year, tens of thousands of fans will line Swanston St for this highly anticipated parade of thoroughbreds, jockeys, trainers and celebrity guests, hosted by Seven News Melbourne presenter Peter Mitchell with Simon Marshall and Richard Freedman.

After that it’s the first Tuesday in November, which means only one thing to Australians: the Melbourne Cup. The nation’s greatest race, a handicap run over ‘two miles’, attracts thoroughbred horses from around the globe as trainers and owners look to etch their name in racing history. Every year drama, intrigue and stories unfold around the Cup with winners coming from all walks of life.

Oaks Day and Stakes Day, on Thursday and Saturday respectively, round out arguably the best racing carnival in the world. The latest in fashion, colour and flair is celebrated on Oaks Day, with the feature race the Group 1 Oaks for three-year-olds. While families are again expected to flock to Stakes Day to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere for the VRC’s premier 1600m race.

Seven’s coverage will be hosted by Bruce McAvaney alongside Francesca Cumani, Richard Freedman and Simon Marshall, with Peter Donagen reporting on all the latest in the mounting yard.

Joh Griggs, Ryan Phelan, Edwina Bartholomew, Hamish McLachlan, Bec Maddern, Rachael Finch, Michael Felgate and Neil Kearney will report on all the colour and characters in the crowd from the punters on the lawn to the A-List celebrities in the Birdcage.

Australia’s premier race caller Greg Miles will be heard on Seven’s coverage throughout the Carnival. Pat Welsh will keep an eye on where all the big plunges are heading in the betting ring. And Basil Zempilas will MC all of the race presentations throughout the carnival.

They are the public faces of what is a huge production unit, involving hundreds of personnel and up to 50 cameras – around the courses, in tracking vehicles, in the air, in the jockeys’ and stewards’ rooms and also at times mounted on a jockey’s helmet to drop viewers into the saddle during the race itself. 

As the free-to-air home of thoroughbred horseracing Seven broadcasts every major meeting on the Australian calendar including the Sydney Easter Carnival, the Caulfield Cup Carnival, the WS Cox Plate, Stradbroke Handicap, the Melbourne Cup Carnival and for the first time in January 2015, the Magic Millions.

Seven is also the official broadcast partner for an unrivalled portfolio of major sporting events including the Summer and Winter Olympics, AFL, all major tennis tournaments in Australia including The Australian Open and The Davis Cup as well as Wimbledon; all major Australian golf tournaments including the Open and the Masters, as well as the US Masters; the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race; V8 Supercars and Bathurst 1000; all major iron man and triathlon events and the NFL and Superbowl.




Saturday November 1


Victoria Derby Day

Sydney          11am LIVE on Channel 7, 5.30pm LIVE on 7TWO

Melbourne      11am LIVE on Channel 7

Brisbane        10am LIVE on Channel 7

Adelaide        10.30am LIVE on Channel 7

Perth             8am LIVE on Channel 7


Sunday November 2


Melbourne Cup Preview Show

Sydney          11.30am on Channel 7

Melbourne      11.30am on Channel 7

Brisbane        11.30am on Channel 7

Adelaide        11.30am on Channel 7

Perth             11.30am on Channel 7


Monday November 3


Melbourne Cup Parade

Melbourne      12pm LIVE on Channel 7


Tuesday November 4


Melbourne Cup Day

Sydney          10am LIVE on Channel 7

Melbourne      10am LIVE on Channel 7

Brisbane        9am LIVE on Channel 7

Adelaide        9.30am LIVE on Channel 7

Perth             7am LIVE on Channel 7


Thursday November 6


Oaks Day

Sydney          11.30am LIVE on Channel 7

Melbourne      11.30am LIVE on Channel 7

Brisbane        10.30am LIVE on Channel 7

Adelaide        11am LIVE on Channel 7

Perth             8.30am – 9am LIVE on 7TWO, 9am LIVE on Channel 7


Saturday November 8


Stakes Day

Sydney          11.30am LIVE on Channel 7

Melbourne      11.30am LIVE on Channel 7

Brisbane        10.30am LIVE on Channel 7

Adelaide        11am LIVE on Channel 7

Perth             8.30am LIVE on Channel 7





The doyen of sports broadcasting in Australia, Bruce McAvaney will host Seven’s expanded coverage of the Spring Racing Carnival, including the Caulfield Cup Carnival, the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Bruce began his career as a race caller, and he has called the Melbourne Cup four times and hosted Seven’s Cup Carnival coverage 13 times, and throughout his decorated career he has retained an infectious enthusiasm for the so-called Sport of Kings.



The daughter of English trainer Luca Cumani, Francesca joins the panel on-course throughout the Spring Racing Carnival. Francesca made her TV debut on Seven’s horseracing coverage in 2009, and now also hosts CNN’s Winning Post program and covers some of the biggest races in the world including the Kentucky Derby,  Royal Ascot  and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.



Simon Marshall enjoyed a decorated career as a jockey, winning 16 Group 1 races and piloting stars including Super Impose, Naturalism, Better Loosen Up, Mahogany and Mannerism. Simon will help dissect the form for Seven. Also a regular on Seven’s AFL Game Day, he brings a unique combination of racing insight and a sense of fun.



The name Freedman is synonymous with racing success in this country and once again Richard Freedman will work alongside Bruce McAvaney, Francesca Cumani and Simon Marshall on the trackside panel. The Freedman brothers boast five Melbourne Cup winners, along with four Caulfield Cups, four consecutive Golden Slippers and two Cox Plates.


PETER DONEGAN | Mounting Yard presenter

Peter is one of the most respected sports broadcasters in the country, having covered athletics, golf, AFL, horseracing and tennis among many sports for radio and TV. Pete will be in the mounting yard where he has earned the respect of jockeys, trainers, owners and stewards over a Melbourne Cup broadcasting career stretching back to 1989.


JOH GRIGGS | Presenter

After a career as a world-class swimmer, Joh Griggs has developed an outstanding resume in TV with Seven,  hosting Better Homes and Gardens as well as Seven’s hit new reality renovation show House Rules. Joh will again work on the Melbourne Cup Carnival, catching up with all the celebrities in the Emirates Marquee.



In a packed schedule, Edwina presents weather for Sunrise and co-hosts Dancing with the Stars. She will be a roving reporter for the racing coverage throughout the spring.


RYAN PHELAN | Presenter

Ryan is the weekend sports presenter for Seven News in Sydney. A highly accomplished TV presenter and reporter with more than 16 years’ experience working for Sky Racing, Sports Tonight, Fox Sports News and US sports network ESPN, Ryan will be covering all the action from the mounting yard.



An accomplished horseman who grew up next to Lindsay Park Stud, one of Australia’s most successful racing and breeding establishments, Hamish is a feature of Seven’s Melbourne Cup Carnival coverage as well as being an AFL commentator and host of AFL Game Day, and a regular on Seven’s Australian Open coverage.


BEC MADDERN | Presenter

Seven News presenter and journalist Rebecca Maddern is also an experienced race-goer and a regular on Seven’s racing coverage who has co-hosted the Melbourne Cup Carnival Myer Fashions on the Field. Born and bred in Geelong, Bec is also an avid fan of AFL football and the Cats’ number one female ticket holder.



A journalist for more than 35 years and over 20 years on television, Neil is one of Australia’s great storytellers, plying his craft on almost every major sport there is from the Olympics and AFL, to the Australian Open tennis, the Commonwealth Games and of course, horse racing.



A vibrant personality and a former Miss Universe Australia, Rachael is a regular TV presenter for Seven who returns to Flemington as a roving fashion reporter for the coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.


GREG MILES | Race caller

Greg Miles is widely regarded as Australia’s premier race caller and will again be heard throughout the Carnival on Seven for the 11th year running, as well as his 34th call of the Melbourne Cup. Australian race fans will always remember his iconic call of Makybe Diva’s third consecutive Cup win when he fittingly announced “a champion becomes a legend.”



Being the son of a bookmaker meant it was almost inevitable Pat Welsh would end up involved in racing and sports. The Seven News sport presenter and reporter in Brisbane with more than 30 years’ experience, Pat will present viewers with all the happenings, movements and plunges from the Flemington betting ring.



Basil hosts and commentates AFL matches for Seven, presents sport for Seven News Perth and is an integral part of our Australian Open and Hopman Cup tennis coverage. To date he has been to five Olympic Games for Seven and was behind the microphone for Steven Bradbury’s historic win in the 1000m speed skating, Australia’s first Winter Olympic Gold medal. He’ll MC the race presentations at Flemington for the first time in 2014.



Award-winning racing and sports reporter Michael Felgate has a passion for racing that has seen him win several racing media awards, drink champagne from the Melbourne Cup and own a city race winner at Sandown.