For those who enjoy horse races, the Caulfield Cup is something they already know about. But for those who aren’t really into this thing but are still interested in races, especially in Australia, it’s one of the most prestigious horse races known to humankind.
Just like every other race cup, there were so many ups and downs throughout the history. The thing is, this cup is still a huge thing these days, and the existence of Caulfield Cup betting services just proves how important this is for the Australians.
But before we go into details, it’s important to note a few things:
- The race happens every third Saturday in October
- It happens during the Caulfield Carnival
- It’s a pre-event for the bigger Melbourne Cup, happening in November
Now that you know these things, let’s discover some of the Caulfield Cup upsets and unforgettable moments:
- In 1954, an outsider named Rising Fast won the race and surprised many of the people around
- In 1982, Gurner’s Lane surprisingly broke all the odds and won the race
- In 1992, the horse Mannerism broke its own record and offered a stunning performance
- In 2009, the horse named Viewed finally won the race, being beaten the previous years even though it was a race favorite
Surely, there were many other controversial moments, which we’ll mention now:
The Worst Fall in Australian Racing History
In 1885, a rider named Donald Nicholson died when the worst fall happened. The situation happened almost at the end when at least 15 horses went over his body. There was another similar incident just a few years later when a 14-year-old boy died.
A 2001 Surprising Turn
In the 2001 Caulfield Cup, jockey Jim Cassidy disobeyed owner Danny Rose and trainer Cliff Brown’s instructions to ride the horse named Inaflury back in the field.
Cassidy instead allowed Inaflury to dash into a big lead during the middle stages of the race. As a result, Inaflury finished sixth, and Rose was furious.
He demanded an explanation from the stewards, who cleared Cassidy after viewing the tape. However, Rose was not satisfied and sold all of his racehorses.
The Controversy Mannerism v Veandercross
In 1992, an interesting event occurred during this cup. The favorite jockey, Shane Dye, rode Veandercross to the outside of the track and took the lead early.
However, Veandercross ran out of steam in the final stretch and was beaten by Mannerism, who had enjoyed a more economical run on the inside.
Dye has defended his ride, saying that he went too soon but that he was on the best part of the track. The ride remains controversial to this day.
The 1998 Havoc
During the 1998 Caulfield Cup, a horse named Melody caused chaos. It caused an interference to Champagne and Jezabeel in the straight. Taufan’s Melody won the race, but Jezabeel’s jockey, Chris Munce, issued an objection.
The stewards dismissed the objection but suspended Taufan’s Melody’s jockey Ray Cochrane for one month and fined him $20,000. Jezabeel and Champagne went on to run the quinella in the Melbourne Cup a few weeks later.
How Controversies Affect the Caulfield Cup?
Since it’s an old but still popular cup, all the known and unknown events may affect the image it creates publically. They can damage the participants’ careers and make people dislike the whole concept of the race.
Surely, some common controversies are the cases of doping, i.e., the use of performance-enhancing drugs in both horses and people. You probably know that many bright careers were damaged just because someone decided to use such chemicals. And, as you expect, it doesn’t only affect the horse, but the jockey’s reputation too.
And just like every other sports event, betting scandals can have a huge influence on the overall image. For example, there were several betting scandals involving the Caulfield Cup through the years. Many jockeys and trainers were accused of these scandals, ruining their image in the public’s eyes.
Another scandalous and controversial occurrence is the track bias. Many claim that the tracks were somehow impacted in favor of specific horses and jockeys. These complaints have raised concerns about the fairness of the race.
And finally, interference and colliding, because many consider them the most controversial events during the Cup. There were claims that sometimes it’s done on purpose, but there is no proof for that.
Some Memorable Caulfield Cup Moments
As you suppose, there were great moments during this cup, too. For example, in 2007, an interesting drama happened between the two favorites, Maldivian and Eskimo Queen. Maldivian became fractious and struck his head on a piece of television equipment while the Eskimo Queen threw herself down in the gates. The race was won by Master O’Reilly, who was the 8-1 favorite after the scratchings.
Another memorable moment is from 1991 when Let’s Elope had a slow start, especially on wet tracks. But it doesn’t stop her from winning the next tracks. She dominated the Group Two Turnbull Stakes, outclassing Prince Salieri despite a significant weight disadvantage. Let’s Elope is one of the most successful horses in the Caulfield Cup, and every appearance is a memorable event.
Horse races, regardless of where they are held, are prestigious events that attract huge audiences, as well as participants from all over the world. Well, it is the same with this popular Australian Cup, where interesting events are constantly happening, but also certain controversies that are later talked about a lot. As you can see, there have been a number of events in the long tradition of the Cup, some of which have been going on for a century.
However, it’s up to you to enjoy the event, regardless of whether you watch it live or on TV. And, of course, if you have a favorite, it is enough to cheer for them, and, in some rare cases, to bet on their victory. You certainly wouldn’t want to find yourself in a controversial news or scandal, so be careful if you bet on horse racing.