The Caulfield Cup is one of Australia’s favourite races. It is a categorised as a Melbourne Racing Club Group One horse race for thoroughbreds and is held under handicap conditions.
However, change is afoot. In fact, the Melbourne Racing Club (often shortened to MRC) is in the middle of changing the race conditions to weight-for-age (often shortened to WFA), for horses aged three years and older, over a distance of 2,400 metres (or 2.4 kilometres).
The Caulfield Cup takes place in mid-October every year at the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. This racecourse is often referred to by the nickname “The Heath” by locals and is just eight kilometres from the CBD, in Melbourne’s southeast suburbs. The race happens on the third and final day of the popular Melbourne Racing Club Spring Carnival. There are 3 million dollars up for grabs in the Caulfield Cup alone, which makes it one of the richest thoroughbred horse races in the country. What’s more, it is the wealthiest of its length and type (i.e. a handicap race of 2,400 metres) on the planet.
Another reason that the Caulfield Cup is important to trainers and jockeys is that it provides one of the paths to qualification for the Melbourne Cup. This is the best-known race in Australia and takes place 16 days after the Caulfield Cup, at 3pm on the first Tuesday in November. The Melbourne Cup is the richest handicap horse race in the world. In 2017, there will be $6.2 million worth of prize money in the ring.
Both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup are handicap races. This means that each and every horse in the Caulfield Cup field has to carry an allocated amount of weight. This amount is determined by a variety of factors, including accrued prize money and recent wins. On top of that, the Caulfield Cup field is strictly confined to 18 horses, plus four emergency runners.
If you’re studying the Caulfield Cup form guide and Caulfield Cup odds, and looking for expert Caulfield Cup tips, there are some important things to keep in mind. Firstly, tips are often picked on the basis of a horse’s performance in one or more lead-up races. Secondly, a big factor in deciding on Caulfield Cup tips is the state of the track, which varies a lot because October falls in the Australian spring. The weather can change from pouring rain to scorching sun without much warning. As seasoned gamblers know, some horses perform better on particular types of tracks than others. Say, for example, the track was given a rating of 3 (Good) and there was a horse in the event that had never won on a dry track, this horse would be highly unlikely to feature among Caulfield Cup tips.
Last, but not least, a third major factor that can determine Caulfield Cup tips is the barrier draw. A horse’s barrier placement can play a huge role in how it goes, depending on the horse’s running style.
Caulfield Cup Field and Odds
The Caulfield Cup field is incredibly competitive because it is strictly limited, in terms of numbers. There are only ever 18 starters, as well as four emergency entries. In the spirit of fairness, entrants are determined by a ballot system. Needless to say, though, not all horses are valid. In fact, a wide range of factors influence a horse’s eligibility. Three of the most important are prize money, previous wins and placing in lead-up races. Having said that, though, there are some automatic entries, namely winners of the Listed Mornington Cup and the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes. So, it’s a good idea to look out for these two events.
The reason this system is in place is that it represents an attempt to provide a level field. It also means that horses that have performed less well than others are still in with a chance of winning. It’s a good idea to remember, too, that age can be a limiting factor. All horses in the Caulfield Cup field must be three years old or more.
In addition to a horse’s history - both recent and long term - the Caulfield Cup barrier draw can play a big role in a horse’s performance, thereby making or breaking careers in racing and punting. One of the most exciting moments of the entire Australia racing season is that in which the Caulfield Cup officials conduct and announce the barrier draw. Nearly every trainer, jockey and punter waits with baited breath. Of course, the experience is most intense for those doing the competing.
There are several reasons why the Caulfield Cup barrier draw is so significant. It is not that there is a particular golden barrier. After all, when you consider the entire history of the Caulfield Cup, success has been spread pretty evenly across most of the barriers. However, there is one particularly problematic barrier and that is barrier one. In 30 years, it has failed to produce a winner, which is a clear indicator that barrier one is on the bottom of every jockey and trainer’s list.
When it comes to accessing Caulfield Cup odds, you need to be patient. The final odds are never released until just a few days before the race. However, you can check out future odds, which are offered months and months in advance, and can be rather lucrative.
If you keep an eye on Caulfield Cup odds, you will soon notice that they are updated regularly. This happens every time a new round of nominations or acceptances gets the green light. At this stage, Caulfield Cup odds are determined by numerous influences, such as predictions of how well a horse is likely to perform in the race, as well as its likelihood of making it into the final Caulfield Cup field.
Keen punters should also scrutinise prospective horses’ performances in lead-up races. These include the Metropolitan, the Spring Champion Stakes, the Craven Plate, the Yalumba Stakes and the Cranbourne Cup.