Melbourne is famous for its horse racing and the Melbourne Cup is not the only prestigious event on the racing calendar. The Caulfield Cup is also a handicap race and is the richest 2.4km race in the world. Success in the October-run Caulfield Cup is a qualification to run in the Melbourne Cup. Horses must be at least three years old to compete.
The Caulfield Cup was first run in 1879, 18 years after the first Melbourne Cup. Newminster was the first winner. The Cup was run during autumn for the first two years before moving to late October in 1881.
From 1940-1943, the Caulfield Cup was run at Flemington as the track was used as a military base. In 1943, there were so many contenders to run this race that they needed to run two races and sort the horses into two separate divisions.
Eleven horses have been successful winners in both the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups, known as the “cups double,” because they did it in the same year. Bart Cummings holds the training record for the most wins at the Caulfield Cup with seven winners, including Ming Dynasty which won twice.
The Caulfield Cup race itself is the second most popular horse race after the Melbourne Cup and the winning purse is $2,500,000. There are other races at the Caulfield track of course as this race is held on the last of the three days of the Caulfield Racing Carnival. There’s the Thousand Guineas and Caulfield Guineas races which are run before the main event, similar to Melbourne Cup Day which has other races of its own.
Scobie Breasley is the most successful jockey in the Caulfield Cup with an impressive 5 wins. He’s closely followed by Damien Oliver with 4 wins and Frank Demsey and Neville Sellwood who each had 3 wins.
Only two horses that won the Caulfield Cup since 1984 came from overseas. That’s an impressive record for Australian horses, trainers and jockeys. To beat the best in the world on home ground is most likely the best feeling for all those involved. The two foreign horses were Taufan’s Melody in 1998 and Fraar in 1993.
The picture right shows Viewed easily winning the 2009 Caulfield Cup.
Horses and their entourages come from all around the world to participate in the various races in the Caulfield racing season. Avid punters also travel from around the world to descend on Melbourne for this great spectacle.
Both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup Carnivals are fantastic tourist attractions that really give the city a financial boost with millions of dollars being spent on everything including: accommodation, restaurants and cafes, other entertainment, sightseeing activities and everything else you could imagine as well as the millions that are bet on the races themselves.
If you love horse racing, Melbourne is one of the best places to really enjoy it during late October and early November. World class horses compete for these prestigious trophies and Melbourne can be very proud of its dual Racing Venues.