The Past 5 Winners Of The Caulfield Cup
First run in 1879 the Caulfield Cup is one of the oldest titles in Australian Racing and is considered one of the big three which includes the W.S. Cox Plate and the time honoured Melbourne Cup.
With so many winners of the Caulfield Cup we could be here all day rattling off great winners so on this occasion we’ll look at the past five winners of the Caulfield Cup and ask what were they doing before they won, how did they win and where did they go after.
2018 Caulfield Cup Winner - Best Solution
Trainer - Saeed Bin Suroor
Jockey - Pat Cosgrove
Price - $12.00
Best Solution Before The 2018 Melbourne Cup
Best Solution was one of the big names to travel down under and fly the flag for the racing powerhouse that is the Godolphin Stable.
Foaled at Ireland Best Solution was soon moved to the UK, Best Solution started his early career racing on British tracks running over distances between 1200 and 1400m. He would soon be stretched out in distance as performances improved the further he went.
Trips to the France, The Middle East and Meydan as well as multiple campaigns in Germany became the norm for Best Solution as his career grew but was yet to claim a Group One title until his 5 year old season where he would register two Group One wins at Baden Baden and Hoppegarten.
These wins would only be a neck margin which is perhaps why he flew under the radar for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor when the team travelled down under to tackle the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup.
Best Solution Wins The 2018 Caulfield Cup
Going into the 2018 Best Solution was the highest rate racehorse in the field internationally and he lived up to the billing by doing everything right to win from barrier 15 under the ride of UK jockey Pat Cosgrave.
Best Solution was forced to dig deep however when just pipping Homesman to the 2018 Caulfield Cup. Fellow British runner Cliffs of Moher would finish third and Andrew Balding trained Duretto in a Northern Hemisphere dominated first four finish.
The win by Best Solution would be the second win in the race overall for Godolphin, with trainer Saeed Bin Suroor being the main man on this occasion rather than John O’Shea who was the principal Australian trainer for Godolphin at the time.
As a reward for Best Solution claiming the 2018 Caulfield the Godolphin stable were able to collect a cool $3m in prize money.
The win in the race would be Best Solutions 3rd straight win at Group One level following his two wins in Germany previously.
Best Solution After The 2018 Caulfield Cup
After winning the Caulfield Cup Best Solution would go on to face a tough Melbourne Cup where he would finish down the track from stablemate Cross Counter who won the race for English trainer Charlie Appleby.
Best Solution would return to the UK where he would race once more in the UK at Kempton Park before having a final race at Group One level in Cologne. On both occasions he was unable to reproduce a Caulfield Cup level win and ultimately retired.
Best Solution would finish his racing career with 9 wins from 25 starts and amass nearly $5m in prize winnings.
2019 Caulfield Cup Winner - Mer De Glace
Trainer - Hisashi Shimizu
Jockey - Damian Lane
Price - $7.00
Mer De Glace Before The 2019 Caulfield Cup
The story of Mer De Glace travelling to Australia to compete in the Melbourne Cup was an interesting one as it was Jockey Damian Lane who almost begged connections to send the Japanese Group 3 winner down under.
Lane would ride Mer De Glace twice for trainer Hisashi Shimizu when competing in the Japan during the Autumn and Winter months and knowing he would be able to get into the Caulfield Cup at a low weight believed he had what it takes to win.
Connections would go all in and agree with Lane and send Mer De Glace to Australia with a 5 race win streak on the line. Mer De Glace was a $7 chance in betting and the only international in the field.
Mer De Glace Wins The 2019 Caulfield Cup
Mer De Glace was heavily fancied when first being announced for the Caulfield Cup, however drifted significantly when drawing barrier 18 in the final field and having to overcome one of the widest draws in the race.
Despite the carpark draw, Lane kept the faith and was able to deliver a brilliant run from the back of the field.
Forced to go back, Mer De Glace was left second last in the early stages of the race. It wouldn’t be until the final bend where Lane would start to move the 5yo round the outside of the field and into the clear in the home straight.
The Japanese runner would quickly move up and take the lead from Finche before moving clear by two lengths to win the Caulfield Cup. There would be late runs from Vow and Declare as well as Mirage Dancer who would finish in the placings, but the race was over with 50m to go.
Mer De Glace After The 2019 Caulfield Cup
After his win in the Caulfield Cup Mer De Glace would head on to a challenge in the Melbourne Cup where Vow and Declare would be able to go one better than his Caulfield Cup defeat and win the race that stops a nation.
Mer De Glace would be brave in defeat, once again under the ride of Damian Lane, and be able to muster a sixth place finish just 1.2 lengths of the eventual victor.
Following his return to Japan, Mer De Glace would be retired to stud and finished with career stats of 19 starts for 8 wins and 7 placings.
2020 Caulfield Cup Winner - Verry Elleegant
Trainer - Chris Waller
Jockey - Mark Zahra
Price - $5.00
Verry Elleegant Before the 2020 Caulfield Cup
Verry Elleegant started off her career in New Zealand before she was bought by a syndicate of owners and moved over to Australia for racing.
In her early years she would work in the shadows of stablemate Winx and really come into her own in the Autumn of 2020 when winning the Group One Tancred Stakes before finishing second behind UK raider Addeybb in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
That would set her up for a big Spring campaign which she would kick off by winning the Group One Winx Stakes. That would be followed by a fourth in the George Main where she didn’t handle the ground before narrowly claiming a second Group One of the Spring in the Turnbull Stakes.
It would be a weird period for racing with horses running in front of empty stands during the Covid Pandemic. Verry Elleegant has to go through additional checks to get to Melbourne but was definitely making the most of her chance when she was there.
Verry Elleegant Wins The 2020 Melbourne Cup
It was one of the most thrilling Caulfield Cups ever with Verry Elleegant coming up trumps over Aiden O’Brien’s Irish runner, Anthony Van Dyck.
The top two in the betting would duel all the way down the straight in the dramatic finish that would see a short half head the winning margin in the 2020 Caulfield Cup.
In the race itself Verry Elleegant would settle just worse than midfield under the ride of Mark Zahra with Dashing Willoughby controlling the pace up front. It wouldn’t be long however until the field bunched up and the runs started to come entering the home turn.
Outsider of the field, The Chosen One would gain a cheeky inside run and kick clear in the home straight while the favourites circled the field before knuckling down in the straight.
It wouldn’t be long before Verry Elleegant would reel in The Chosen One and take the lead. With Anthony Van Dyck flying late the Waller Mare need to dig deep and grind out the win with the official margin 0.2l for the $5m Caulfield Cup.
Verry Elleegant After Winning The 2020 Cauflield Cup
In a lot of cases with previous Caulfield Cup runners they will go on to run a handful more races before being retired to stud or the breeding barn.
Straight after the 2020 Caulfield Cup Verry Elleegant went on to run 7th in the Melbourne only to return 12 months later and win the race that stops a nation and become one of only a few runners to complete the Melbourne Cup Caulfield Cup double.
A lot of talk would then be about taking the mare to France and compete in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe with the ownership group extremely keen on the idea. Trainer Chris Waller wasn’t as keen on the idea and connections transferred Verry Elleegant to the hands of French trainer Henry Gaffard.
Gaffard would oversee Verry Elleegant for three starts where she would fail to fire and the decision was made to retire the mare and send her to the breeding barn where she now stands for a nominal fee.
2021 Caulfield Cup Winner - Incentivise
Trainer - Peter Moody
Jockey - Brett Prebble
Price - $2.30
Incentivise Before The 2020 Caulfield Cup
Incentivise started out life as a little unknown horse from Toowoomba and in his first three races failed to lay a glove on the finishing podium running 9th, 6th and 8th in his those three starts.
It wouldn’t be until his 3rd start and the addition of blinkers that Incentivise would come into his own winning his next five starts including the Group Three Tattersals Cup. At this point he would be moved into Melbourne Cup Market favourtism.
Through his Winter Carnival campaign Incentivise had three starts of which he won by a combined 25 lengths. This caught the eye of a number of investors with a syndicate group buying the majority share of Incentivise and moving him from the care of Steve Tregea in QLD to the stables of Peter Moody in Melbourne.
Incentivise would make his debut in Melbourne at Flemington in the Spring and carry on where he left off when winning the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes followed by the Turnbull Stakes by half a length.
Incentivise Wins The 2021 Caulfield Cup
At just his 12th career start Incentivise would tackle and overcome his biggest test to date when winning the $5m Caulfield Cup with almost sheer arrogance under the ride of returning jockey Brett Prebble.
Incentivise was a heavily backed favourite already and was expected to win but needed to overcome a wide draw as well as poor position in the run when three wide the duration to defeat the 2021 Caulfield Cup field.
It was a quickly run race with Persan and Delphi blazing a trail in front before Incentivise showed his class and moved clear of the weakening field. At the 250m mark Prebble would press the go button and Incentivise would quickly move away from the field to lead over 4 lengths by the 50m marker.
Despite late runs from Nonconformist and Montefilia to try and pass the battling Persan, Incentivise would prove to be in a class of his own winding down before the line and winning by an official margin of 3.5l.
Incentivise After The 2021 Caulfield Cup
After winning the 2021 Caulfield Cup it was all systems go for Moody and Incentivise to tackle the Group One Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.
With such an emphatic win in the Caulfield Cup Incentivise was crunched into a $2.90 favourite to win the Melbourne Cup and despite heading into the home straight first was ultimately outclassed by the returning Verry Elleegant who stormed home to win by 4.5 lengths.
Incentivise would finish runner up ahead of Spanish Mission with many commenters wondering if the tough run in the Caulfield Cup had taken too much out of the Gelding and therefore cost him a chance of winning the 3200m handicap.
The 2021 Melbourne Cup would prove to be incentivises last run after continued injury stopped him returning to the track in 2022 and most of 2023.
2022 Caulfield Cup Winner - Durston
Trainer - Chris Waller
Jockey - Michael Dee
Price - $18.00
Durston Before The 2022 Caulfield Cup
Before winning the 2022 Caulfield Cup Durston was a British import who had been racing a mid level to Group 3 grade across the UK. Durston also claimed placings at Group 3 level as well as wins in Class 2 Grade in the Northern Hemisphere.
He would be transferred to the care of Chris Waller in 2021 and having not raced for over a year made his debut in a BM78 at Flemington where he finished 4th of 13 runners.
In his next race he would win at BM78 level before being moved across the boarder to Sydney where he would contest in a number of country cups. Durston would win the Wyong Gold Cup and The Newcastle Gold Cup before finishing 6th in the Metropolitan at Group One grade.
At this stage, given his rating Durston wasn’t listed to run in the Caulfield Cup and was sat as an emergency until the day of the race where a late scratching meant that Waller could run Durston in the Group One Caufield Cup.
Durston Wins The 2022 Caulfield Cup
Prior to the race there had been days of bad weather and the Caulfield Cup looked to be heading for a wash out. However a clear sky and prime racing conditions on the day set up for Durston to win the Caulfield Cup.
Whether it was the ground or the nature of the day the UK Import was able to find a new level and was jumping out of the ground late when flying past Gold Trip, Knights Order and Montefilia to claim the Group One.
Durston hadn’t originally been listed in the final field and it was only the late scratching that meant he got the start. By winning the 2022 Caulfield Cup Durston became the first emergency to win the race and etched his name in the history books.
What was most impressive was the run itself though as jockey Michael Dee was forced to weave through a number of runners to find clear air and power home over the top of them to win a maiden Group One with Durston.
Durston After The 2022 Caulfield Cup
After winning the 2022 Caulfield Cup big things were expected of Durston. However with plans to head into the Melbourne Cup Durston was found to be lame and withdrawn from the race through injury.
Durston would trial again in January however his continued injuries would be a point of contention and the decision was made to retire him in early 2023.
Durston ended his career with 6 wins from 16 starts and a further four places. Despite only racing once at Group One level he was able to amass $3.6m in prize money.