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The Caulfield Stakes: The Details, Past Winners & Prize Money

by Richard

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is renowned throughout the country and indeed the world, and the Caulfield Stakes is among the first Group 1s to be run during this prestigious nearly-three-month period. From past winners to prize money, this is all you need to know about the race.

The race details

The Caulfield Stakes is regarded as the biggest weight-for-age event over 2,000 metres in the country, and is open to all horses of three years and older. First run in 1886, it has developed into one of the most significant races in the early stages of Melbourne’s spring, and though winning the Caulfield Stakes is in and of itself a major achievement, it’s what often comes after which makes it even more prestigious.

The Cox Plate sits just behind the Melbourne Cup as the biggest race in Victoria, and given that it is run only a couple of weeks after the Caulfield Stakes under the same conditions and almost exactly the same distance (2,040 metres), it should come as no surprise that there is plenty of crossover in terms of horses competing at these two events. Nine different horses have managed to do the double in the same year in history, and the Caulfield Stakes has become a popular lead-in race for the Cox Plate, something which typically leads to a high-quality field.

Famous past winners

A number of famous racehorses have taken out the Caulfield Stakes, beginning with Hall of Famer Eurythmic, who won it three times in a row between 1921 and 1923. A touch over 30 years later in 1954, NZ-bred Rising Fast won it during an incredible season in which he also became the only horse to ever win the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year.

More recently, some of the biggest names in racing in the 21st century have also had success at the event. The champion Might and Power won in 1998, Lonhro took it out in 2002 and 2003, while So You Think took it out in a season in which he achieved the aforementioned Caulfield Stakes/Cox Plate. Rounding out the list of winners is perhaps the most famous of them all: Winx, winner of 33 consecutive races (including 25 Group 1s) between 2015 and 2019, took it out in 2016 in an incredible edition of the event which saw just three horses enter, such was the inevitability of her winning.

Caulfield stakes prize money

There is $1 million on offer for the Caulfield Stakes, putting it around the middle of the pack in terms of total prize pools for Group 1 races at the Spring Carnival. The likes of the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup obviously offer significantly more, but in total only nine of the 31 Group 1s in Victoria throughout the course of the year exceed this $1 million mark.

This prize money demonstrates fairly accurately where the Caulfield Stakes sits in comparison to other major races. While it is obviously not viewed as nearly as prestigious as the aforementioned big three, its relevance to the Cox Plate puts it in the upper echelon of races in the country, and victory in the race is an ideal way to start the spring for horse, trainer and jockey alike.

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