When the year rolls round to the running of the Caulfield Cup, we know that the seasons are fully changing and spring is upon us. This race, a key part of the Melbourne Racing Club’s Spring Carnival, is held mid-October and is passionately anticipated by so many Australian racing fans and punters - from those who see this as a full-time hobby to others who enjoy only the occasional bet. The Caulfield Cup is one of those iconic moments of each sporting year.
It happens on the third and final day of the Carnival and is accepted as the richest race of its type on any continent. The prize money is set at a stunning three million dollars. Getting close now to a century and a half ago, a horse called Newminster was the first to win it; the latest, last year, was Jameka. This year? Who knows – although we will all have our own ideas and hopes by the time the field of 18 runners and riders are primed to go at the top of the home straight of the course bearing the name of the trophy.
The Caulfield Cup is designated as an MRC Group 1 Thoroughbred event. At the present time, it is raced under handicap conditions, although there is a possibility of future races being run under as a WFA (weight for age) conditions race. It’s a race for animals who have reached at least three years of age and is raced over a staying race distance of 2400 metres. For older runnings, the comparable length was one and a half miles.
Using the handicap system, each participating horse is given an agreed weight it must carry. Several factors contribute to the decision, including any recent wins, and prize money that the horse has accumulated.
Crucially, the Caulfield Cup field performances provide one possible qualification method for the Melbourne Cup, taking place just over two weeks later. In fact, the winner gains direct entry into this, one of the most famous races anywhere in the sporting world.
Understanding the Caulfield Cup form guide, tips and odds
The information provided is built through considering key areas such as any horse’s performance in key races in the lead up to the cup. On the day itself, the state of the track will often be decisive, as some horses are expected to run more effectively on one set of track conditions than another. A Good 3 rated dry track is good news for some; others would be happier ploughing through heavier going. Just know that we can never rely on the Melbourne weather to deliver the conditions you’d like for your choice!
The barrier draw also affects the mindset of those offering Caulfield Cup tips or crafting the odds. With tight turns a feature of the track, owners, trainers and jockeys (not to mention punters) hope their horses will be placed where their own running style has a chance to flourish.
When you choose your selection(s), you may take great care to assess all of the above and more. Equally, you may just enjoy a casual punt on a hunch. Either way, Australian bookmakers will ensure you have many choices for where and how to place that online bet.
Caulfield Cup Field and Odds
It’s the last day of the terrific Melbourne Racing Club’s Spring Carnival. At the top of the home straight, eighteen of the best horse and jockey combinations are ready to thunder around the tight Caulfield race track. The horses will be at least three years old, the jockeys probably a good deal older, but the excitement will be fresh, as it probably was well over a century and a quarter ago when the Caulfield Cup was first run.
Some facts about this iconic race. Firstly, there are also four emergency entries, should they be needed, and participation in the race has been decided by a ballot system. However, two horses have gained automatic entry, through winning either the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes or the Listed Mornington Cup. For the other successful entrants, ballot eligibility will have hinged on factors such as their placings in key lead-up races, and any race victories and prize money gained.
The combined aim of all the many deciding and contributory factors is to provide a field that is more level, providing some of the lesser performed horses with their opportunity to earn glory in such a famous horse race – the richest of its type anywhere in the racing world.
Is the Caulfield Cup barrier draw important?
Well, many of those involved, and those placing their bets, would answer in the affirmative. Certainly, Barrier 1, on the rails, has not produced a winner in three decades or so; and on wet and heavy ground, many believe that the area close to the rails seems to suffer more than other parts of the track.
That aside, the winners have been scattered across the remaining barriers, and none of them could be said to be a ‘gold medal’ position. However, the horse’s connections will know the importance of a draw that allows their animal to run in the way best suited to it, and that does add to the importance of the official draw, waited for with thoroughly bated breath.
Knowing about the Caulfield Cup odds
As you’d expect, the final race odds won’t be released until a few days before the due date. There are, though, lucrative futures odds which are often offered a few months before the mid-October Caulfield Cup date itself. Odds are also updated when every new round of nominations or acceptances is released.
Odds will take into account the chance any individual horse has of actually getting into the select 18-horse field, and, should this be achieved, how it’s then likely to perform on the track.
Punters, pundits and bookmakers will also look keenly at the schedule of key races leading up to the Caulfield Cup. Performances in races such as the Cranbourne Cup or The Metropolitan, the Craven Plate, Spring Champion and Yalumba Stakes will get their attention.
You may check runners and riders and their form with an eager eye here, or simply enjoy betting on whatever takes your fancy. Whichever is your way, bookmakers offer a wealth of online opportunities to place a range of exciting bets. Then, they’re off, and that’s your heart racing in time with the beating of the hooves!