Which horses have won the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups
Anthony and Sam Freedman look like they may have a chance a pulling off a training masterclass with import Without A Fight, after the 6yo Gelding claimed the Group One Caulifeld Cup on Saturday.
Without A Fight was brought to Australian Shores in 2022 with the aim of winning the Melbourne Cup firmly on the agenda. However he failed to fire, finishing down the track to the eventual winner Gold Trip.
The UK import was transferred to the Freedman’s with the aim of returning to Melbourne again in the Spring of 2023 to have another crack at the race that stops a nation this year. Now though a bigger prize looks to be on the cards with Without A Fight this years chance to complete a double only 11 horses have completed before him.
Win the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup in the same year. A feat that hasn’t been achieved since the turn of the millennium.
Melbourne Cup - Caulfield Cup History
In its 162 year history the Melbourne Cup is one of the oldest races in Australia. The Caulfield Cup was first run in 1879 giving a total of 144 chances for a horse to complete the prestigious and extremely challenging double.
There are instances where a horse has won the Caulfield Cup and then won the Melbourne Cup at another point in time. Like with Verry Elleegant who won the Caulfield Cup in 2020 before returning to win the race that stops a nation the following year when she claimed the 2021 Melbourne Cup.
Many horses have also come close with the likes of Incentivise last year dominating the Caulfield Cup to then finish second in the 2022 Melbourne Cup behind the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Gold Trip.
Gold Trip returns in 2023 to attempt to win another Melbourne Cup but was only able to finish third in this year's Caulfield Cup.
Without A Fight, having won the 2023 Caulfield Cup now has the chance to add his name to the short list of winners who have won the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup in the same season.
Melbourne Cup - Caulfield Cup Double Winners
With over 100 years of history between the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup you would have thought there would be quite a few runners have won both in a season.
In total there have been 11 runners who have completed the Melbourne Cup / Caulfield Cup double.
1906/07 - Poseidon
We have to travel back over 100 years to find the first horse who was able to win both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup with Poseidon, for trainer Isaac Earnshaw, becoming the first horse to do so in 1906.
Poseidon is a well recognised horse within the racing community after being inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame in 2004.
Poseidon was the first ever horse to win the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup and did so when he was on the rise through the racing ranks as a three year old. He started off his season as a 3yo winning a few minor races before claiming his first big title winning the AJC Derby.
The horse was spelled with a big spring in mind and not only did Poseidon complete the double, how he did it was truly amazing.
When Poseidon started his Spring he won the VATC Eclipse Stakes and then returned to the race track two days later to win the Caulfield Cup in a race record time. Just a few days after that Poseidon would win the VRC Derby before entering the Melbourne Cup and winning that to complete a Caulfield Cup - Melbourne Cup double as well as a Group One treble in less than a few weeks.
1937/38 - The Trump
31 years after Poseidon became the first horse to complete a Caulfield Cup - Melbourne Cup double, The Trump became the second.
A relative underachiever in his early career The Trump finished third in the Caulfield Guineas as a three year old before injury ruled him out of entering the Caulfield Cup in that year.
He would return as a four year old to win the 1937 Toorak Handicap before winning the Caulfield Cup in the same year. Trainer E. Darcy Eccles would be all systems go, believing his runner had what it takes to win the 1937 Melbourne Cup.
The Trump would happily oblige and won a sixth consecutive race as a four year old and become the second runner to win the Caulfield Cup - Melbourne Cup double.
In the same year The Trump would retire from racing and like most Melbourne Cup winners he would have a career beyond the race track. However, not quite what we expect today with Eccles using the Melbourne Cup winner to ferry his Nieces and Nephews to and from School.
1939/40 - Rivette
While not the first runner ever to win both the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup, Rivette is an interesting story in that in 1939 Rivette was the first mare to complete the feat and complete the double in the same year.
Rivette won the Melbourne Cup as a 5-1 favourite in a field of 26 runners at Flemington, winning the race by half a length on the day.
The Melbourne Cup for Rivette wasn’t solely a new achievement as she had completed the Caulfield / Melbourne Cup double as a mare; it was also a new achievement for trainer Harry Bamber.
In winning the Melbourne Cup Rivette became the first horse to have the same Breeder, Owner and Trainer with Harry Bamber receiving £7,200 for fulfilling all roles apart from jockey.
1954/55 - Rising Fast
Now while all the other runners we’ve talked about so far have been brilliant in their own right, Rising Fast took things to another level for New Zealand based trainers Iriving Tucker and Fred Hoysted.
While Rising Fast won the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup he also became the first horse to achieve the Spring Treble, winning what we consider the big three in The Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup as well as the W.S. Cox Plate 1954.
In fact when Rising Fast won the 1954 Melbourne Cup carrying a whopping 59.5kgs he had already claimed the Caulfield Stakes, Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate before going on to add the Mackinnon Stakes for good measure.
The following season Rising Fast nearly became the first horse in history to complete the double double when winning the 1955 Caulfield Cup only needing a second Melbourne Cup to complete the unheard of.
Unfortunately Rising Fast would finish an agonising second under controversial circumstances having been jostled in the home straight and narrowly missing out on the win.
To this date however, Rising Fast remains the only horse to have won the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in a single season.
1962/63 - Even Stevens
The Fifth horse to win both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup was Even Stevens, bred in New Zealand and trained by Archie McGregor.
Even Stevens had a light racing career which featured just 8 wins. However he was one of the 11 who was able to claim the Caulfield / Melbourne Cup double.
After winning the Melbourne Cup Even Stevens was leased to the Queen’s Stable to race on behalf of the Queen Mother. However on preparation to sail to England, Even Stevens was injured and required he retired from racing.
Even Stevens was retired to stud in New Zealand in 1963 where he would sire two Group One winners including Master John.
1966/67 - Galilee
Galilee needs little introduction, having been described by many as one of the greatest racehorses of all time and getting inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame after he retired.
The New Zealand bred thoroughbred was one of King of Cups trainer Bart Cummings first big racehorses and was a winner of a number of Group One titles between 1966 and 1968 including a Toorak Handicap, Memsie Stakes and Turnbull Stakes.
Galilee was Bart Cummings second Melbourne Cup winner and in 1966 following a Caulfield Cup win in the same year became the sixth horse to complete the double.
Galilee would return in the winter and go on to win the Group One Sydney Cup the same season and remains the only horse to claim victory in the Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup and Sydney Cup in the same season.
1982/83 - Gurners Lane
Gurners Lane was the seventh of 11 Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup winners winning both titles for trainer Geoff Murphy in 1982.
Much like Even Stevens during his victories Gurners Lane wasn’t a winner of the highest grade having won the Group 2 Newcastle Gold Cup as well as the AJC and VRC St Ledgers in the same grade before delivering the double.
Gurners Lane, unlike his counter parts previously was one of the first double winners at a lower weight claiming the Caulfield Cup at 53.5kgs and the Melbourne Cup at 56kgs.
The win for trainer Geoff Murphy and jockey Mich Dittman was one of the more unfavourable Melbourne Cup wins after the pair stopped the highly popular Kingston Town from winning the Melbourne Cup.
1991/92 - Let’s Elope
Another one for the King Of Cups, with Bart Cummings trained Let’s Elope becoming number 9 to do the double and the second mare to complete the feat over 50 years after Rivette first completed the task in 1939.
Let’s Elope was a horse who showed huge potential on her lead up to Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup victories and completed the double in 1991 before going on to piece together a seven race winning streak.
Those wins included a Turnbull and Mackinnon win prior to winning both cups and then added an Australian Cup, CF Orr Stakes and St George Stakes after completing the double.
It was the second horse for Bart Cummings to complete the Caulfield Melbourne Cup double after Galilee completed it in the eighties.
1995/96 - Doriemus
Doriemus was another one bred across the ditch before finding his feet in Australian racing under the conditioning of trainer Lee Freedman.
Freedman saw little from Doriemus as a 3 or 4 year old but he did do enough to qualify for the 1995 Caulfield Cup where he would carry the low weight of just 52kgs for Damien Oliver on the way to victory.
Facing a 2.5kg penalty Doriemus would make light work of the 54.5kg and claim the Melbourne Cup in the same year to become one of the 11 having won both the major spring cups in single season.
Doriemus would go on to win a few more Group One titles but he was to have an emotional 1997 where he would appear in the form of his life but finish second to Might and Power in both Caulfield and Melbourne Cups to stop him completing a double double.
1997/98 - Might and Power
Speaking of which Might and Power leads us toward the end of the roll of honour for Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup winners.
Might and Power was able to complete the double and stop Doreimus in 1997 from becoming the first two time champion of both Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in the same season.
As a four year old Might and Power looked unstoppable and was on course to claim every major title which included claiming a Mercedes Classic, QEII Stakes, Doomben Cup and Caulfield Stakes after completing the Cup double.
Where Might and Power stands out however is going on to win the W.S Cox Plate the following season after winning the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups the previous season. He became only the second horse to achieve the feat after Rising Fast who achieved the treble in the same season.
2001/02 - Ethereal
The 11th and most recent winner of both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup is another New Zealand bred horse by the name of Ethereal who won both cups in 2001 for trainer Sheila Laxon.
Ethereal was raised with impeccable breeding lines having a Breeders Cup and Hong Kong Cup in her heritage she was destined for great things.
Throughout her career Ethereal was lightly raced with just 21 starts under her belt but was able to claim the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup to become the third mare to achieve the feat along with Rivette and Etheral.
Since 2001 no other horse has been able to achieve the double however Incentivise looked to be the closest chance in 2021 demolishing the Caulfield Cup field before finishing second in the race that stops a nation.
With the high influx of international runners, the increase regulations in racing it could be that Ethereal is that last runner we see achieve the Caulfield Cup - Melbourne Cup double. However if there’s one thing we know, racing is never a certain thing.