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The Caulfield Cup: An Exhilarating Spring Carnival Event
From John Hawthorne: June 2015

The Caulfield Cup is major race of the Spring Carnival held by the Melbourne Racing Club at Caulfield racecourse each year 16 days before the Melbourne Cup. With a A$3,000,000 purse and a grueling distance of 2,400 metres, the race is a Group 1 handicap for horses three years old and up. As a top staying race, the Caulfield Cup results affect the Melbourne Cup entries, and with an exciting undercard and host of stylish affairs, like the Blue Sapphire Ladies Luncheon, the event is a high point of Australian racing.

Interesting Historical Notes About the Caulfield Cup

1. The race was first run in 1879. In 1881, when the race shifted from an autumn to a spring event, it was run twice, with two champions that year. It has been a Group 1 race since 1978.

2. There are now only 18 starters with four reserve alternates, however there used to be dozens. In 1885 15 of the 44 horses fell, and there was a jockey death during the tragedy.

3. The race was held at Flemington Racecourse in 1941, 1942 and 1943, when the Caulfield Racecourse was being used as a World War II army recruiting barracks. In 1943, the race was run twice, due to the high number of entries.

4. Horses from outside Australia and New Zealand have participated in the race since 1998, and four have been winners.

5. Winning the Cups Double means winning both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in the same year. This has been accomplished over the years by only 12 horses: Poseidon (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).

6. Only one horse has ever won the Cups Double and the Cox Plate in the same year. That was New Zealand Horse Rising Fast in 1954.

7. The jockey with the most wins is Scobie Breasley (five), followed by Damien Oliver(four).

8. Bart Cummings holds the title for the most trainer wins at seven. Three female trainers have had a trip to the winners circle: Lady Herries (1998), Sheila Laxon (2001) and Gai Waterhouse (2010).

9. The longest priced winner ever was Saint Warden in 1943 at 100-1.

How Can You Pick a winner at the Caulfield Cup?

* Compare the going on race day with the going in past performances. The two should be somewhat similar. A horse that likes a hard, dry course will not likely do well on a wet track, and vice versa.

* Look for horses that have a history of working successfully with the same trainers and jockeys.

* Watch the horses in the parade ring immediately before the race. A winner should be prancing and eager to go, giving no trouble to the groom or jockey or appearing lethargic or anxious.

Don't forget to check out the lead-up races that are strong predictors of winning Caulfield Cup results:

* Caulfield Guineas

* Thousand Guineas

* Wakeful Stakes

* Moonee Valley Cup

* Queen Elizabeth Stakes

* Autumn Classic

* Herbert Powers Stakes

* Listed Mornington Cup

* Listed Cranbourne Cup

* Spring Champion Stakes

* Craven Plate

Have fun, and remember: a bad day at the racecourse is still better than a good day at the office!


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