The headquarters of the Melbourne Racing Club, Caulfield Racecourse is one of the most famous racecourses in Australia. It is known as “The Heath” to locals as when races first occurred there, jockeys had to ride the horses through scrub, heath, and sandhills. Not quite the same as it is today. The racecourse is located in the suburb of Caulfield, and not far from the Princes Highway in Melbourne, which has many nearby exits to conveniently get to the course. 1859 is when the first races occurred there and as mentioned, it was not an easy ride.
Luckily, over the years the track has been upgraded continuously to what you see it as today and even has a recreation area that is available to the public when races aren’t being held. The track itself is 2.08 kilometers in circumference and is a turf track.
The Caulfield Cup, which was first run in 1879, is one of the most popular races in Australia, especially at the Caulfield Racecourse. The distance of the race is 2400 meters and has a current total prize purse of $5,000,000AUD. This year, the race will be run on Saturday, October 15th. Last year’s winner was Incentivise, who also won the Turnbull Stakes and the Makybe Diva Stakes. He was a favorite for the Melbourne Cup in 2021 but was narrowly beaten by Verry Elleegant who coincidentally won the Caulfield Cup in 2020. The current favorite for the 2022 race has not been decided yet so keep an eye on your races from now until October.
Blue Diamond Stakes
This 1200-meter sprint race is held in February during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. It is a set weight race for two-year-olds and has been raced at Caulfield since 1971. It is a pretty lucrative race with a total prize purse of $1,500,000AUD which was increased from $1,000,000AUD in 2016. The winner of the 2022 race was Daumier, ridden by jockey Mark Zahra.
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes
This race was first inaugurated in 1951 under the name of the Invitation Stakes. Since then, it has gone under several name changes before finally settling on the name Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in 2015. The race is an open handicap for thoroughbreds three years and older. It currently comes with a total prize purse of $1,000,000AUD. The 2022 race is set to run on the 17th of September. Sierra Sue was the last horse to win the race in 2021, and it is not yet certain who any of the 2022 favorites will be yet.
At 1600 meters, this medium-distance race has been held since 1881 when it was won by Wheatear. As of 2022, the total prize purse for the race has been raised by $1,000,000AUD to a massive $2,000,000AUD, probably due to Jockey champion Damien Oliver winning in 2021 on Anamoe, who is on the way to having a successful career, also winning the Rosehill Guineas and the Hobartville Stakes in 2022. The 2022 Caulfield Guineas race will be held on Saturday 8th of October. It is a set weight race for three-year-olds and is known as a Blue Riband race probably because of the level of speed and endurance needed to win the race.
These are some of the top races that make Caulfield Racecourse one of the best in the country.