Run since 1879, the Caulfield Cup has become one of Australia’s most historic and richest horse races. It’s currently a Group One race held under Handicap conditions, and it is the richest race of its type in the world over its distance, but it is in the process of becoming a weight for age race.
The race is held annually in October over one-a-and-half miles (or 2,400 metres for our Aussie counterparts), but what makes the race especially unique – and sometimes complex – is it’s qualification system for the race and the qualification process for runners afterwards.
The race is limited to 18 runners, four of these entries are decided by what is an emergency ballot system. The system takes into account prize money, wins and placing in lead up races to determine which horses qualify. Automatic entries are awarded to winners of the Toorak Handicap, Herbert Power Stakes and the Mornington Cup.
Performances in the Caulfield Cup are also one of the possible ways of qualifying for the Melbourne Cup. Horses who win this are all but guaranteed a place in the ‘race that stops a nation’, and horses who tend to run well can be hopeful of an entry place 16 days later.
Winners from Britain and Ireland in this race are scarce, but Taufan’s Melody landed the contest in 2008 for Lady Herries, while All the Good scored for Saeed Bin Suroor in 2008. France also got a win with Dunaden in 2012.