The Caulfield Cup is one of the most famous horse racing tournaments in Australia, usually scheduled three weeks before the Melbourne Cup on a Saturday afternoon. A large number of spectators turn up for the event, and an even larger number glues up to their TV screens. The tournament is held as part of the Spring Carnival, organised by the Melbourne Racing Club. The wining cash prize is worth $3 million, awarded to the horse that first crosses the 2400 metre track. The 2017 Caulfield Cup is also set to take place on Oct 21.
The trophy, made from 9 carat gold, which is worth $155,000, has been awarded to many champions during the history of the Cup, spanning 139 years. Notable names include Let’s Elope, Might and Power, Rising Fast and Northerly. The winner for last year was Jameka.
A walk down the road
The first Caulfield Cup was held in the year 1879, organised by the Victoria Amateur Turf Club. This tournament was held in the autumn season, but two years later, it took up a spot during the spring season, some weeks before the Melbourne Cup. The race has not always been held at Caulfield. During the time of the World War II, it was shifted to Flemington for some time.
The Caulfield Cup history has its high and lows. The year 1855 witnessed a ‘mega disaster’ when 15 winning horses came down and a jockey, Donald Nicholson, passed away. In the year 1922, the Member’s Stand caught fire; however, the tournament continued even the next day.
The 2017 Cup
Coming on to 2017, Caulfield Cup is most likely to hit another milestone, and may not be a handicapped race anymore; instead, weight for age conditions might be adopted. Thus, all horses taking part will have to carry weight, which will depend on their age, sex and other factors rather than the number of times that they have won recently. And oh, the prize might also increase to an impressive $4 million. The organisers believe that these changes will attract more overseas horses.
The odds for this year
Each year, the Caulfield Cup allows 18 horses to participate along with 4 emergency entries. The winners of the Listed Mornington Cup and the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes are granted entry automatically; other horses fight a ballot system which takes placings, recent winnings and the prize money into consideration. As of now, Humidor, Bonneval and Hartnell seem to have the highest odds.
If you are interested in placing a bet, you generally don’t have to wait until the final Caulfield Cup odds are announced just some days before the race. These are calculated by evaluating the performances of horses in several races such as the Spring Champion Stakes, the Cranbourne Cup and the Metropolitan. Odds offered earlier than this can be lucrative as well, and result in impressive payouts.
That being said, if you want to play it safe, bet on favourites who have had a good track record, winning 40 times during the Cup’s history.