The Caulfield Autumn Classic is a Group 2 race for horses aged three years only. It is a stayer’s race of 1800 metres run under set weight conditions at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne during the month of February.
The 2023 race shifted to Ladbrokes Sandown Park while the MRC was busy installing a new track on the inside of the course proper.
Caulfield Autumn Classic Race Details
Race Distance: 1800m
Prize Money: $300,000
How To Bet On The Caulfield Autumn Classic
Our Top 3 Recommended Online Bookmakers To Bet With For The Caulfield Autumn Classic:
Caulfield Autumn Classic Betting Tips
When Is The Caulfield Autumn Classic: 24/2/24
What Time Is The Caulfield Autumn Classic: TBA
Where Is The Caulfield Autumn Classic: Caulfield Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Caulfield Autumn Classic
To live stream the Caulfield Autumn Classic, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Caulfield Autumn Classic
Prizemoney for the race was boosted from $200,000 for the 2022 jump.
The 2022 jump of the race was won by Castlereagh Kid, a colt by Snitzel with Redoute’s Choice for grandsire. The line on the sire’s side is absolutely filthy with important names, such as Danehill, Snippets, Canny Lad and Bletchingly. Our view is that if Castlereagh Kid is going to be permitted to remain entire, he had better start winning for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. They engage top riders like Tommy Berry, Nash Rawiller, Rachel King and Damien Oliver to steer, so there can be no excuses for mediocre hoops.
The distaff side of Castlereagh Kid’s line is also impressive.
The grand dam sire is Zabeel, so we have lines to Sir Tristam, Sir Ivor, Nureyev and Northern Dancer.
We could not find a replay of the Caulfield Autumn Classic for 2022, but here is a link to his previous jump, an 1800-metre BM 64 win at Sandown Hills, the Remembering Jim Fotopoulos Handicap.
As mentioned above, the race will shift to Ladbrokes Sandown Park while Caulfield Racecourse is getting a spruce-up. It jumped at Flemington in 1996, when the MRC closed Caulfield right after the Caulfield Cup for major renovations.
The project, adding a new track inside the existing turf course, should be done before the spring carnivals.
The shift in venue will see other races normally staged at the meeting moving to Sandown. Those other top races are the Group 1 races - the Futurity Stakes, the Oakleigh Plate and the Blue Diamond Stakes. The Group 2s are the Caulfield Autumn Classic, Angus Armanasco Stakes and Peter Young Stakes. The Group 3 races for the meeting are the Mannerism Stakes and the Zeditave Stakes.
History of the Caulfield Autumn Classic
The Caulfield Autumn Classic has been run since 1957.
Typical of MRC races, the race has used various names, beginning with the Stanley Plate in 1957, which persisted through 1986. Caulfield Autumn Classic was first used in 1987 through 1990. The jump in 1991 was called the Tattersalls Classic. The current name was used again from 1991 through 1997, and then switched to the AAMI Classic for 1998 – 2000. The years of 2001 – 2004 found the race called the Shannons Classic. The current name appeared again for 2005 and 2006.
National Jockey Celebration took over for 2007 and Pol Roger Stakes was used for 2008. The 2009 jump was called The Yalumba 160, with the 2010 jump called The Yalumba 161.
After The Yalumba 162 in 2011, the race was again the Caulfield Autumn Classic beginning in 2012.
The length of the race has been modified through the years, going back and forth between 1800 and 2000 metres, but the race was set at 1800 metres in 1987 and that trip has held up since.
The race was graded principal until 1979 and became Listed that year. It was deemed Group 3 grade in 1989, with Group 2 status coming along in 1994.
Venue for the Caulfield Autumn Classic
Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne serves as the headquarters for the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC).
The track hosts 12 Group 1 races, eight Group 2 races and 19 Group 3 races over the course of a year, with the marquee race being the Group 1 Caulfield Cup. Five of the major races held there have the name Caulfield in them, so our old perspective of all the races there being named Caulfield Something or Other Stakes will have to be retired.
The triangular shaped oval course is known to the locals as “The Heath” due to early residents of the area comparing the terrain to the heaths of Scotland.
That was back in 1859, when racing at Caulfield first started.
For 1800-metre races at Caulfield, the racers jump on the west side, nearly at the beginning of one of the two back straights. They make two sweeping turns and finish on the north side of the track in front of the stands.
Racing History of the Caulfield Autumn Classic
We became creative and went looking for gallopers that won the Caulfield Autumn Classic and the Melbourne Cup in the same calendar year.
The only one was 1982 winner Gurner’s Lane. Due to the way Thoroughbred birthdays are calculated, he was three when he won the Autumn Classic and four when he won the Melbourne Cup, an unpopular win, as Kingston Town was in the race and appeared poised for victory until Gurner’s Lane snuck through on the rails.
Other notable racers to win the Caulfield Autumn Classic were Elvstroem (2004) and Stylish Century (1990).
We will examine the list of winners to find better types that won major races, earned higher prizemoney, or supplied good offspring.
The winner of the first Caulfield Autumn Classic was Lord Gavin.
Another win that same year was the Moonee Valley Cup and in 1958, Lord Gavin won the C.M. Lloyd Stakes. He had two third place finishes in 1957 in races that are now Group 1 grade, the C. F. Orr Stakes and the MacKinnon Stakes. Lord Gavin was a gelding.
Nilarco from 1960 was the winner of multiple races that have been lifted in grade since 1960. Other wins in 1960 were the Craiglee Stakes, the Hotham Handicap, the VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the VRC St. Leger. Good wins in 1961 include the Craven Plate and the Herbert Power Handicap. Major wins in 1962 were the Autumn Stakes and the ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Soldate was the first filly/mare to win the race – 1963. She did nothing noteworthy as a racer or breeder.
Chosen Lady was the winner in 1968. Other wins include the Edward Manifold Stakes and the VRC Oaks.
A gelding named Voleur was the winner in 1970. He won the MacKinnon Stakes that same year and ran second to Beer Street in the Caulfield Cup. He might have been a bit of a disappointment to his dad, the French sire Le Filou, but not all of your sons can be Big Philou.
A prime example of the lengths we here at Pro Group Racing go to supply accurate racing history is the 1972 winner, Hampton’s Pride.
He is listed as the race winner of the Caulfield Autumn Classic for 1972, yet a Thoroughbred database that is generally reliable for older race results informs us that Hampton’s Pride was unraced. That same database gives credit to Hampton’s Pride for seven offspring, but none of those offspring seems to have made any racing impact.
So, we have an unraced race winner that had to be real, or there are some mares that might be expecting some explanations. Is there such a thing as a ring-in for breeding stallions?
The uniquely named Ready O’Ready was the winner of the Caulfield Autumn Classic in 1976.
He was better than many of the earlier winners of the race. His other good wins were the Canterbury Cup, which he won in 1977 and 1978 and the Underwood Cup from 1977.
After racing, Ready O’Ready was Unready O’Unready at stud, supplying just three named foals, none of which was ready for anything.
We are skipping forward to 1982 to devote some attention to one of the better Australian Thoroughbreds, Gurner’s Lane.
He was one of the 11 horses that managed to win the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup in the same year. He was the seventh horse to record a Cups Double.
He was a son of Ireland’s Sir Tristam. He only won seven races and placed in 10, so the old adage about picking your spots would seem to apply to Gurner’s Lane, as he made a total of 41 jumps. The interesting thing here is that in 1982, you have a horse that filled a Cups Double, yet the poor bloke earned only $558,000 for his career.
Other good wins by Gurner’s Lane were the VRC St. Leger, and the AJC (now ATC) St. Leger and the Newcastle Gold Cup, leading to his Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year for 1982/83.
The next significant winner of the Caulfield Autumn Classic appeared in 1990 as Stylish Century.
His form line includes 58 jumps for 11 wins and 15 placings for over $2.5 million in earnings. His best win was the 1989 Victoria Derby. He won the Spring Champion Stakes that same year and the ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1991. He tried the Cox Plate in 1989 and was a narrow loser, running second to Almaarad, nearly beating the older horse that was given 10.5 kg more than Stylish Century.
A brief replay of the 1990 win by Stylish Century, where he destroyed a field that included Zabeel, can be viewed at the following link.
Stylish Century supplied many offspring, but nothing notable. Plenty of stakes winners, but we saw only one that earned above $200,000.
The 1991 jump of the race found the mare Triscay as the winner.
Her sire was Marscay, so grandsire Biscay and great grand sire Star Kingdom. On the side of her dam, Tristam Lady, Triscay can boast of Sir Tristam, a prodigious Irish racer and breeder.
She won as a two-year-old, taking the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes, along with the Widden Stakes.
She had Group 1 wins in 1990 via the Champagne Stakes and the Flight Stakes. Group 1 wins in 1991 were the ATC Oaks, Queensland Oaks and the Australian Guineas.
Her form line was 26 jumps for 15 wins and 8 placings for nearly $2 million in prizemoney.
She died while in foal in 2006, but prior, she supplied foals to Danehill and Redoute’s Choice. A 1994 filly by Euclase named La Baraka earned over $640,000. A 2000 colt by Thunder Gulch earned above $350,000. Of the 10 foals, seven earned some money racing.
The winner in 2000 was Pins.
Pins was by Snippet and he offers a form line of 14 jumps for seven wins and three placings that earned him above $1.7 million. Pins did not win at Group 1 level until his next-last race, when he won the Cadbury Guineas (registered name Australian Guineas) by just under a length from Freemason.
After racing, Pins supplied 75 stakes winners, including Ambitious Dragon, a two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year. His best was El Segundo, a four-time Group 1 winner.
A significant winner of the Caulfield Autumn Classic was 2004’s Elvstroem.
His major wins were the Victoria Derby (2003), the Caulfield Cup (2004) and in 2005, the C. F. Orr Stakes, the Group 2 St. George Stakes and Dubai Duty Free Stakes.
His best progeny were Hucklebuck, a 2010 gelding out of Kondari that won over $1.1 million from just 16 jumps. Gold Medals out of Lady Mulroy earned almost $900,000, but this gelding made 64 jumps.
The 2006 winner was Spinney.
A son of Octagonal, Spinney made 49 jumps for 9 wins and 13 placings, but he was gelded, so the Octagonal line, that branch of it at any rate, did not continue past Spinney.
Another instance of the offspring not living up to the sire presents itself in the 2007 winner of the race, Farson.
Farson was by Snitzel, but Farson’s seven jumps for four wins and one placing were not very Snitzel-like. His best win was the Caulfield Autumn Classic, his second-last jump.
The winner in 2020 was Adelaide Ace.
We mention him mainly for being the son of Savabeel. Adelaide Ace’s racing to date has supplied 34 jumps for 5 wins and 10 placings. He beat a good racer in Noncomformist rather handily, but Noncomformist repaid in spades when he took revenge on Adelaide Ace when they lined up next race for the Group 2 Alister Clark.
A replay of the 2020 jump of the Caulfield Autumn Classic can be seen at the following link.
The Caulfield Autumn Classic has supplied some classy winners, but if we were forced to pick the best of the list, we would have to go with Gurner’s Lane, as it is not often that the winner of the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup is on a list of winners of what in 1982 was just a Listed Race.
Caulfield Autumn Classic Past Winners
|1981||Find The Gold|