WHEN it comes to Australian thoroughbred racing, there is no greater racing double to achieve than the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double.
While the Melbourne Cup is without question Australia’s – and possibly the world’s – most coveted crown in racing, the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate, which complete the big-three of racing, are equally as sought after in the Melbourne spring.
The Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup double is one of the world’s most sought-after doubles. It is often attempted, rarely pulled off.
It takes a special kind of horse to complete the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double, so is it worth betting on or are you simply throwing away your money even placing a double bet?
Which horses have completed the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double?
- Poseidon – 1906
- The Trump – 1937
- Rivette – 1939
- Rising Fast – 1954
- Even Stevens – 1962
- Galilee – 1966
- Gurner’s Lane – 1982
- Let’s Elope – 1991
- Doriemus – 1995
- Might and Power – 1997
- Ethereal – 2001
Which horse was the last to complete the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double?
New Zealand hall of fame galloper Ethereal got the job done in 2001 and no horse has managed to complete the double since.
Fellow Kiwi galloper Mongolian Khan was rated as a strong chance to do the double back in 2015 after winning the Caulfield Cup, but a colic attack less than a week before the Melbourne Cup stifled its chances.
We could see the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double completed in 2023, as Caulfield Cup winner Without A Fight will line up in the Melbourne Cup.
How long is the break between the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups?
The Caulfield Cup is the first of the big-three races of the Melbourne Spring and usually takes place in the middle of October.
This means the Melbourne Cup, which is raced on the first Tuesday of November, is typically just over two weeks in advance.
The Caulfield Cup is invariably used as a tune-up event for the race that stops a nation for the major players in the market, but a strong staying horse that can take out the Caulfield Cup will typically give itself a live chance of completing the rare double.
What type of horse does it take to complete the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double?
It goes without saying that it takes a special type of galloper to take it out, but if we had to narrow it down we would say versatility is the key.
The Caulfield Cup is run over the 2400m distance, while the Melbourne Cup is run over 3200m, the rise in trip is a massive factor. It takes a brilliant horse to win over multiple distances, much less in a group one event like those two.
There is a recent just about every horse that has completed the double is in a hall of fame somewhere, it is extremely hard to complete and takes a horse that possesses a multitude of weapons, and even an astute jockey on board, to even come close to winning both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
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Will we see another horse complete the double?
You never say never in horse racing, but the task is becoming harder and harder as the years progress.
After Without A Fight claimed the 2023 Caulfield Cup, there is a chance that the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained galloper could complete the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double, as he will compete in this years edition of the great race.
The Melbourne Cup is continually becoming an international affair as the years roll on, and that means trainers bring their gallopers here with one goal in mind, taking out the race that stops a nation.
More and more we are seeing horses using the Caulfield Cup as a fine tuning race as the Melbourne Cup approaches, while other elect to avoid the race altogether.
In 2016 the Melbourne Cup winner Almandin did not take part in the Caulfield Cup, while 2015 shock winner Prince Of Penzance followed a similar route, running in the Moonee Valley Cup just over a week prior.
In fact, no horse since Shocking in 2010 has raced in the Caulfield Cup and gone on to win the Melbourne Cup.
Records are always there to be broken in racing, but as the old saying goes “you’ve got to be in it to win it”. If the top-tier elects for the Melbourne Cup are going to forego the Caulfield Cup in lieu of another lead up though, we may never see the double again.