Autumnal sun, flowing champagne, live DJ sets and spirited fashion – this year’s Star Championships has been optimised for a long overdue celebration. The six-week Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival is giving locals and travellers an excuse to dress up, dance outdoors and clink glasses. Here’s how to make the most of the autumn racing season at Royal Randwick racecourse.

The Star Championships
Kicking off April’s trackside festivities, day one of The Star Championships is one of the most elegant events on the Sydney racing calendar, care of its black-and-white dress code. Whether you’re spruced up in a traditional tuxedo or stretching the theme with neutral metallics, the monochromatic optics make people-watching just as fun as the races themselves. Held on Saturday April 10 at Royal Randwick, this year’s “Champs Day One” marks the 160th Australian Derby. It’s one of the centrepieces of the season – along with The Star Doncaster Mile, which also dates back to the mid-1800s. Keep the festivities going the following weekend with The Championships Day Two, Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day on Saturday April 17, which closes the “grand finals” of Australian racing.

Music at The Playground
A new precinct for 2021, The Playground brings together food, music and fashion in a garden party atmosphere – with the emphasis on “party”. Hot Dub Time Machine will have punters carving out their own patch of lawn-turned-dance-floor during the afterparty on Day One. Sydney DJ Jesabel will provide her signature electronic beats earlier in the day, chased by Sarah Roberts with a house-heavy set on Day Two. This lively quarter is replete with local food trucks and a bar, with the racetrack a short stroll away.

Style stakes
After what’s been for most of us a long pause in celebratory dressing, rediscover the pleasure of donning perfectly placed headwear, bold shoes and statement jewellery at Royal Randwick. A meticulously styled outfit isn’t just a prerequisite, it could also mean winning some suave prizes. On Day One of The Star Championships, Fashion Stakes judges will award punters with the day’s best autumn raceway fashion a share in $20,000 worth of cash and prizes, while Day Two’s Longines Prize for Elegance sees two winners honoured with a Longines watch. To enter, capture a photo or video of your outfit in portrait format on the day and upload it to the online entry form.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Australia Turf Club.