The Melbourne Racing Club’s flagship event, the Group 1 Caulfield Cup, is the world’s richest handicap race on turf over the classic 2400m distance. The internationally renowned feature event is held during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and boasts $3m in prize money, with jockeys and trainers going that extra mile to prepare.
Originally only open to Australian and New Zealand horses, the race has gradually gained a huge following overseas. In 1998, the door opened for international competition and Taufan’s Meldoy duly saluted that year for UK trainer Lady Herries at $67, while All The Good from the Godolphin Stables, successful a decade later. French horse Dunaden won in 2012.
As part of the Caulfield Cup Day,The Caulfield Cup is used as an indicator of a horse’s form heading into the Melbourne Cup.The Caulfield Cup final field is decided by the use of a balloting system. Each nominated horse (often numbering 200) is placed on a numbered list which dictates where they sit in the order of entry.
The ballot number a horse is determined by key factors such as prize money in the previous two years, wins and performances in pre-determined selected lead-up races and the weight originally allocated by the handicapper.
For those down the order and struggling to qualify, automatic entry can be gained by winning races such as the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes and the Listed Mornington Cup. Victories in other races may incur a weight penalty and lift the horse higher up the ballot.
The system is designed to help lesser performed horses to firstly; make the final field of 24, and secondly; give them a chance to win.
The Caulfield Cup field is open to all horses aged three-years-old and over.Winning both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup in the same year is kown as achieving the ‘cups double’. Those to achieve this milestone include; Poseidon (1906), 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).
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