*A shift toward making the Caulfield Cup a weight-for-age race first hit the news in 2017, with the Melbourne Racing Club attempting to attract more horses from Europe and Japan. So far, nothing has come of it. There has also been discussion about reducing the field size.
**Prize money has jumped from $3 million in 2017 to $5 million in 2018.
From the first running in 1879 to present times, the Caulfield Cup has consistently been the race punters look to guide their selections for the Melbourne Cup. Racing punters eagerly await the final Caulfield Cup field and barrier announcements.
The Caulfield Cup 2020 edition will be unlike no other in the history of Australian Thoroughbred racing history, as it is likely that spectators will be absent entirely or very limited due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The only analogous situation, mildly at least, was during World War II, when the Caulfield Cup shifted to Flemington while Caulfield was being used by the military.
Potential spectators, if there are any, can probably dispense with Caulfield restaurants, maybe even the Caulfield Cup dress code, but even if the race is held behind closed barn doors, it is worth knowing that the time for this year’s Caulfield Cup is yet to be determined. In past years it has always been around 5 pm. AEDT, for anyone interested in knowing when is the Caulfield Cup. This might be a good year to hold off on purchasing Caulfield Cup tickets.
Attempts to learn the actual Caulfield Cup race time did not bear fruit, but we will be following Caulfield Cup news to stay updated. We will also be looking for updates on the Caulfield Cup race day program for the list of Caulfield Cup races and Caulfield Cup declarations.
Punters interested in putting a little effort into their selections will find that the online bookies and, including TAB, will have reams of information about TAB Caulfield Cup results and general information about Caulfield Cup Day. These are also good sources of Caulfield Cup sectional times and Caulfield Cup form.
Punters scour the Caulfield Cup results to look for value selections for upcoming Caulfield Cups and horses well drawn with a history of form over the longer trips attract a lot of backing. Another facet that receives considerable attention is the Caulfield Cup barrier draw, and the final list of Caulfield Cup horses.
A key benefit to the Caulfield Cup winner is a free pass into the Melbourne Cup, as the winning horse is granted a ballot exemption.
Caulfield Cup History
The Caulfield Cup has always been 2400 metres, if the slight difference between the 1-1/2 miles from 1879 to 1971 and the metric system is overlooked.
The Caulfield Cup became Group 1 in the first year the Group grading system was deployed.
Caulfield Cup Significant Winners
The winner in the inaugural year of 1879 was Newminster. Famous winners include Poseidon (1906, 1907), Whittier (1922, 1925), Amounis (1930), The Trump (1937 – the back half of that horse now lives in Washington, D.C.), Tranquil Star (1942), Rising Fast (1954, 1955), Tulloch (1957), Tobin Bronze (1967), Big Philou (1969), Leilani (1974), Ming Dynasty (1977, 1980).
The list continues with Gurner’s Lane (1982), Let’s Elope (1991), and Might And Power (1997).
21st Century Caulfield Cup Winners
Finally are Ethereal (2001), Northerly, (2002), Mummify (2003), Elvstroem (2004), Viewed (2009), Dunaden (2012), Admire Rakti (2014) and Mongolian Kahn (2015).
A Few Rarities Worth a Mention
1893 and 1969 – Sainfoin (1893) and Big Philou (1969) win by protest.
1909 – Only dead heat in Caulfield Cup history, the tie was between Blue Book and Aborigine.
In over 120 years of Caulfield Cup runnings, only Poseidon (1906, 1907) and Rising Fast (1954, 1955) have won two consecutive Caulfield Cups.
No horse has won the Caulfield Cup more than twice.
It is not uncommon for a horse to win any major Australian race twice with a year intervening (age restricted races excepted), but Whittier won twice (1922, 1925) and Ming Dynasty (1977, 1980) won with two years intervening, something that has seldom happened.
Last Five Caulfield Cup Winners
2016 – Jameka
2017 – Boom Time
2018 – Best Solution
2019 – Mer De Glace
2020 - Verry Elleegant
The list of Caulfield Cup winners is quite distinguished in Australian racing history.
Caulfield Cup Trivia
1885 – Fielding an incomprehensible 44 runners, 17 horses fell at the turn into the straight. Jockey Donald Nicholson was killed.
1893 – Upheld protest took the win from Tim Swiveller and gave it to Boring.
1969 – Nausori was the winner, but Big Philou jockey Roy Higgins successfully pressed an interference case in the final 200 metres, handing the race to Big Philou.
Proof of the existence of racing karma came two weeks later, when Big Philou was poisoned and had to be withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup less than an hour before the start. To this day, there are those who claim that the Big Philou win in 1969 was conspired to set up the potential of a Melbourne Cup/Caulfield Cups double.
More Caulfield Cup Trivia
2014 – Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti died after running in the 2014 Melbourne Cup. The manner of the death was given as natural causes. Admire Rakti finished last in the Melbourne Cup.
Caulfield Cup Betting Trivia – Shortest Odds Wins and Misses
Punting the favourite in the Caulfield Cup is the safest single bet that can be made, but the favourite does not always win and Caulfield Cup history provides some key examples.
Dual Cox Plate (1966, 1967) and Caulfield Cup winner (1967) Tobin Bronze jumped for the decimal equivalent odds of $1.73 in 1966, and then ran 6th in that year’s Caulfield Cup.
Manfred (1926), Eurythmic (1920) Rising Fast (1954, 1955) and Tulloch (1957) did win as favourites. Tulloch’s price was $1.67. The decimal quote for Manfred was $2.25. Eurythmic and Rising Fast both jumped $2.75.
Comic Court and Sir Simpe both jumped the decimal equivalent price of $1.57 and ran third.
Caulfield Cup Betting Trivia – Longest Priced Winners
1943 – Saint Warden wins from $101
1936 Northwind and Taufan’s Melody 1998 won from $67
1988 – Imposera wins from $51
1902 – Lieutenant Bill wins from $41
Most Successful Caulfield Cup Trainers
Bart Cummings – Seven wins. Galilee (1966), Big Philou (1969), Leilani (1974), Ming Dynasty (1977, 1980), Let’s Elope (1991) and Viewed (2009).
Tommy Smith – Four Wins. Redcraze (1956), Tulloch (1957), plus two others.
Jack Holt – Three wins. Eurythmic (1920), Maple (1928) and High Syce (1929).
C T Godby – Three wins. Apologies, but this fine trainer harkens back to a time when records could be spotty.
H McCalman – Three wins. Manfred (1926) and two others.
Lady Herries trained 1998 Caulfield Cup winner Taufan’s Melody and is listed here because 1998 was the first year international horses ran in the race.
Most Successful Female Caulfield Cup Trainers
Lady Herries - Taufan's Melody, (1998)
Sheila Laxon - Ethereal (2001)
Gai Waterhouse - Descarado (2010)
George Hanlon trained 2nd place getter 3 times (by narrow margins)
Successful Caulfield Cup Jockeys
Scobie Beasley – Five wins. Tranquil Star (1942), Skipton (1943), Counsel (1944), St. Fairy (1945) and Peshawar (1952).
Damien Oliver – Four wins. Mannerism (1992), Paris Lane (1994), Doriemus (1995) and Sky Heights (1999).
Frank Dempsey – Three wins. Lavendo (1915), Bronzetti (1917) and Eurythmic (1920).
Neville Sellwood – Three wins. Grey Boots (1950), Basha Felika (1951) and Tulloch (1957).
Mick Mallyon – Three wins. Bunratty Castle (1968) Gay Icarus (1971) and Leilani (1974).
Melbourne Cup – Caulfield Cup Dual Winners
Winning the Caulfield Cup followed by winning the Melbourne Cup in the same year is the sort of accomplishment that forever etches the names of the winners in Australian Thoroughbred racing history.
The Caulfield Cup has been run over 120 times; the Melbourne Cup is going on 160 years of racing, yet only 11 horses have won both races in the same year.
The first was Poseidon in 1906. He won the Caulfield Cup for the second time in 1907. He was given 65 kg as the result of winning the 1907 Caulfield Cup and he ran eighth in the Melbourne Cup that year.
Next was The Trump in 1937. He was made favourite for the 1936 Caulfield Cup, but he was having some knee troubles and did not run in the race that year, which was subsequently won by Northwind.
The next horse to double was Rivette in 1939. Something that makes Rivette notable was that she only made five starts, so winning the biggest race in the country in the 1939 Melbourne Cup right after winning the Caulfield Cup is the perfect example of making the most of limited opportunities.
A Cups Double would not occur again until Rising Fast in 1954. He was one of the best ever to take the turf and he proved it in 1954 by adding the Cox Plate to his haul, filling the Spring Grand Slam, something that had never been done before and never since. Rising Fast won the Caulfield Cup a second time in 1955 and almost added another record by winning a second Cups Double in 1955, but he finished an unlucky second to Toparoa.
Even Stevens pulled off the feat in 1962. The good fortune was followed by bad. After winning eight races, he was leased to the Queen of England, but was hurt during training and retired from racing.
Galilee came next in 1966. Galilee was good, good enough to beat Tobin Bronze in the C B Fisher Plate. Galilee often won by large margins. His singular accomplishment was to win the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in the spring of 1966, and then the Sydney Cup in autumn of 1967. He is the first and only horse to win all three races in the same season.
In 1982, it was Gurner’s Lane time to fill the Cups Double. At the time, he was just the seventh horse to win both races. He was the one to deny Kingston Town in the Melbourne Cup, making him a villain in the eyes of many Australians.
Let’s Elope was the one in 1991. She was the first mare to win the Cups Double since 1939’s Rivette. Let’s Elope was good. How good? She beat Better Loosen Up in a match race at Caulfield and came close to winning a Cox Plate won by the great champion Super Impose.
The country did not have to wait long for the next Cups Double. It went to Doriemus in 1995. He won while racing as a five-year-old and raced effectively until he was eight years of age.
It was just two year until Might And Power won the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in 1997. He won the Cox Plate in the following season. In his Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate wins, Might And Power set course records.
Finally, Ethereal took both races in 2001. She was a mare like Rivette and Let’s Elope. Like Rivette, she did not race a lot, but she made the most of her 21 jumps by winning two of the best races in the world.
Given the implications for a Cups Double, the Caulfield Cup nonetheless is a race that can stand on its own.
Many race fans, ourselves included, have an affinity for distance horses and the winners of the Caulfield Cup over the years have proved that a staying race of 2400 metres is an excellent lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.
Punters of all levels watch to see which Caulfield Cup horses will deliver big dividends. With a larger than average field size of 18, even backing the favourite can supply a nice return, while those who find value further down the table can find some hefty returns.
That is provided there is nothing out of the ordinary, such as when short-priced Maldivian hurt himself in the barriers, scaring second-priced favourite Eskimo Queen, resulting in both horses being scratched in the last minutes before the race.
Thankfully, such incidences are rare and can be summed up with the oft heard two-word phrase, “That’s racing.”
|Year||Caulfield Cup Past Winners|
|2019||Mer De Glace|
|2008||All The Good|
|1997||Might And Power|