Caulfield Cup Spring Racing Carnival 2016
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Caulfield hosts some great racing over the Caulfield Spring Racing Carnival including four Group 1 races on Saturday 8th October. This includes the Group 1 $1 million Caulfield Guineas for three year olds as preparation for the $1.5 million AAMI Victoria Derby at Flemington racecourse as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The Group 1 $500,000 Caulfield Thousand Guineas is the preparatory race held at Caulfield on the same day as the Caulfield Guineas for the Group 1 $1 million Victorian Oaks held during Melbourne Cup Week. The highlight race at Caulfield racecourse is the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup, a handicap race over 2400m held on Saturday 15th October.
Many of the Caulfield Cup runners then go on to compete in the Melbourne Cup. These days the Caulfield Cup is seen to be the best lead up race for the Melbourne Cup, with punters keeping a close eye on those runners getting home hard at the end of the shorter 2400m compared to the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup. However the Caulfield Cup winner would normally receive a weight penalty for the Melbourne Cup, which may disadvantage them as the horses that placed near them would not receive such a penalty. In recent years there has been an influx of international horses coming to Australia to race in the Caulfield Cup.
The Caulfield Cup is run over 2400 metres on the last day of the Caulfield Spring Racing Carnival at Caulfield racecourse. It usually attracts a capacity field of 22 horses, with four of these being emergencies, leaving a field of 18 starters. The race is open to horses 3 years old and above and is run under handicap conditions. This means horses with better credentials carry more weight than those with less, which is designed to try and even-up the competitiveness of the field.
The local horses have tended to have the wood on the internationals over the years, however the overseas horses have been more competitive in recent years.
In 2016, the Caulfield Cup runners will be competing for a total prize pool of $3 million. The better performers of the staying 3 year olds, now 4 year olds, from the Autumn and previous Spring have always been highly fancied in early Caulfield Cup betting. However depending on how they return to the track at the older age will determine whether they remain high up in punters’ calculations of form compared to the more seasoned older horses.
The previous year’s 3 year olds normally get into the race well at the weights compared to the older horses, which can be a distinct advantage. When assessing the form we would always go back to the previous season’s 3 year old form and consistent staying types from the older campaigners. It is hard to line up the form of the international horses competing in the Caulfield Cup and for that reason they would remain out of my equations.