For so long the Caulfield Cup has been known as the “traditional Melbourne Cup warm-up”. While an eye catching run in the Caulfield 2400m feature can certainly point to a potential good run in the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield feature still has its own magic.
The international raiders have had good success over the years in the Caulfield Cup with winners including the 1998 long-shot Taufan’s Melody, All The good for Godolphin and Saeed Bin Suroor, Dunaden for France and Mikel Delzangles and the ill-fated Admire Rakti for Japanese trainer Tomoyuki Umeda.
The big Caulfield Carnival is in full swing and with the final field announced for the 2017 edition, who will be victorious and possible head towards the Melbourne Cup. Here are 5 Great moments from the Caulfield Cup.
Not often in Australian racing can a front-runner lead the field all the way in the premier staying events. However that is exactly what the great Might And Power was able to achieve in 1997.
With ‘Pumper’ Cassidy taking the ride, he had the gelding rolling in front and he just kept rolling. Setting the pace throughout, the Zabeel gelding ground his opponents into the Caulfield turf to demolish the field with a 7.5 length victory.
Not only was the margin huge, the time created a new race record that ironically was bettered in 2000 by Diatribe, also ridden by Jimmy Cassidy. Might And Power’s win was hardly against minnows either, with the field containing the likes of Doriemus, Catalan Opening, Ebony Grosve, Marble Halls and Istidaad.
MELBOURNE CUP: Might And Power went on to become the first horse to lead all the way for victory in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, when he held off a fast finishing Doriemus to claim the big Cups double. He became the 10th winner of the Caulfield/Melbourne double with his Flemington victory.
Trained in West Australia by Fred Kersley, Northerly proved to be a specialist at Caulfield and went into the 2002 edition as the top-weight and race favourite. The 6YO was in a four-horse charge as the field went past the winning post the first time before securing the position behind the pace-setter Tully Thunder.
Approaching the 500m, Northerly made his move and by the 300m had hit the front and was trying to forge clear. Fighting on down the straight he held off the fast finishing Fields Of Omagh to secure Caulfield Cup glory. His win when looking under extreme pressure with the big weight of 58kg, was the win of a champion
The win made it three successive G1 wins that Spring following wins in the Underwood Stakes and Turnbull Stakes and four at Group level after taking out the G2 Craiglee Stakes. Each win came with Greg Childs riding.
MELBOURNE CUP: Amazingly the horse with the nickname The Fighting Tiger took no ill-effects from his Caulfield Cup victory and was an acceptor for the Cox Plate just one week later. With Patrick Payne aboard owing to Greg Childs committed to Sunline, the champ from the west was too good in scoring a one length victory. Better suited at the middle distance, Northerly only started twice at 2400m, never taking on a Melbourne Cup.
Trained by New Zealander Sheila Laxon, a then 3YO arrived in Brisbane for a tilt at the Queensland Oaks and after winning the traditional lead-up of the Roses, she arrived right on the wire to take the Oaks. Returning across the ditch to spell and prepare for the Spring she had two starts in NZ before taking on the Caulfield Stakes finishing a credible 3rd to Northerly.
Sneaking into the Caulfield Cup field with just 50kg the 4YO mare loomed up and by the clock-tower had her head just in front. Under hard riding from Scott Seamer, she got the bob right and held on for a nose margin, defeating a gallant Sky Heights who had challenged the mare strongly.
It was a great day for Seamer that day at Caulfield, with the Cup giving him a treble for the day.
MELBOURNE CUP: Receiving a 2kg penalty, the mare still only had 52kg for her first run at 3200m. Settling mid-field from gate 11, the mare was the only runner to make any ground in chasing down the Godolphin trained Give The Slip who had done exactly that at the top of the straight. The finishing burst of Ethereal was too strong and she arrived to complete the Cups Double for Laxon and Seamer and is the 11th and last to have completed the feat.
Nash Rawiller was aboard the 4YO Elvstroem when taking out the 2004 Caulfield Cup. The well named entire had been given a similar to preparation to the dominant Spring that Northerly stamped on the racing world in 2002.
Following wins in the Underwood Stakes and Turnbull Stakes, Elvstroem went into the Caulfield Cup well-weighted with 54kg which saw the entire start the race as favourite. Setting the pace after bouncing to the front from gate 3, Rawiller was able to set the speed and kept them chasing.
Turning into the home straight, he was able to hold off a fast-finishing Makybe Diva who had won the first of her three Melbourne Cups in 2003. In taking the win the son of Danehill became the first horse in the modern era to win the VRC Derby and then the Caulfield Cup in his next season. The last time it occurred had been in 1926.
MELBOURNE CUP: A week after his Caulfield Cup success, Elvstroem again hoped to emulate Northerly by taking on the Cox Plate. He didn’t have much luck that day when beaten four lengths behind Savabeel. Stepped out to the two miles of the Melbourne Cup and with a penalty that saw him carry 56.5kg, he ran a credible 4th to Makybe Diva. That run was the only time in his career he competed further than 2500m. The Tony Vasil trained champion retired a six-time G1 winner.
A 4YO mare at the time, Jameka had taken a half-kilo penalty for her success in the G3 Naturalism Stakes when scoring a dominant 3.75 length victory. That was enough to see her start favourite at Caulfield with just 52.5kg on her back.
With Nick Hall in the saddle the mare ambled up to the leaders in the home straight and then at the 200m changed gears to go past Scottish and score a comfortable 3 length victory. The salute from Hall was one of the great Cup winning salutes- standing high in the irons and hand raised in the air. Favourite punters no doubt would have mirrored the gesture!
MELBOURNE CUP: Taking a further penalty for her demolition job at Caulfield, Jameka went into the 2016 Melbourne Cup with 54.5kg. Settling mid-field she couldn’t reproduce her efforts at 3200m and she finished 14 lengths from the winner Almandin.