The Caulfield Cup is one of the most anticipated thoroughbred races on the calendar and it is held in October each year.
Staged during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the Caulfield Cup is a Group 1 race held over 2400m at Caulfield Racecourse. It is a handicap race that is eligible to horses three-years-old and older. A number of races grant ballot exemption (automatic entry) and they are the Mornington Cup, Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes, Naturalism Stakes, Underwood Stakes, Turnbull Stakes, Herbert Power Stakes, Caulfield Stakes and several International races.
The Caulfield Cup prize money was $5 million in 2018. The field has a capacity size of 18 runners with four emergencies also being named.
It was first held in 1879 when won by Newminster. The honour roll is very impressive with 11 horses capturing the Cups Double – that is winning the Caulfield Cup followed by the Melbourne Cup in the same year. Poseidon was the first to achieve that feat in 1906. The Trump (1937), Rivette (1939), Rising Fast (1954), Even Stevens (1962), Galilee (1966), Gurner’s Lane (1982), Let’s Elope (1991), Doriemus (1995), Might and Power (1997) and Ethereal (2001) have also completed the Cups Double.
The Cups King, Bart Cummings, who won the Melbourne Cup a record 12 times, also boasts the best winning record in the Caulfield Cup with seven winners - Galilee (1966), Big Philou (1969), Leilani (1974), Ming Dynasty (1977 & 1980), Let’s Elope (1991) and Viewed (2009).
Jockey Scobie Breasley is the most successful jockey in the Caulfield Cup. He won the race in four consecutive years between 1942-45 and captured a fifth in 1952.
The 1885 edition of the Caulfield Cup is a tragic one with 15 of the 44 runners falling. It is the worst recorded fall in Australian horse racing and the race was marred by the death of 25-year-old jockey Donald Nicolson.
Five international horses have been successful in the Caulfield Cup. The first occurred in 1998 when the Lady Herries-trained Taufan’s Melody won the race. It would be a decade before another international won with All The Good causing an upset at $41 for Saeed Bin Suroor and Godolphin. Kerrin McEvoy was the winning jockey. In 2018, Saeed Bin Suroor would once again train the winner with Best Solution winning after a great ride from jockey Patrick Cosgrave. 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden would capture the Caulfield Cup in 2012 and Admire Rakti from Japan would win in 2014 before tragically collapsing after the Melbourne Cup in the same year.
A key lead-up race is the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) which is held at Flemington two weeks earlier. Jameka was runner up in the Turnbull Stakes in 2016 before winning the Caulfield Cup at her next start. The Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) is another good form race with Boom Time racing in the Caulfield feature one week before his Caulfield Cup success in 2017.