Caulfield Cup Carnival To Go Ahead Behind Closed Doors


Along with the Melbourne Cup carnival, which takes place at Flemington in November, the Caulfield Cup meeting is one of Australia’s premier horse racing festivals. This month’s carnival is headlined by the Caulfield Cup, which remains the richest mile-and-a-half handicap in the world of flat racing.

The Caulfield Cup was first run Down Under back in the 1870s. Many of Australia’s most famous thoroughbreds have claimed victory in this historic Group One, and a talented field will enter the barriers ahead of this year’s renewal.

Twelve months ago it was Japanese raider, Mer De Glace who sprinted clear of Vow And Declare and Mirage Dancer to win the Caulfield Cup. Many then expected Hisashi Shimizu to follow up in the Melbourne Cup the following month. However, it was Vow And Declare who struck at Flemington, reversing the Caulfield Cup form with Mer De Glace to hand trainer, Danny O’Brien a first victory in that historic handicap.

For a while, it seemed like the 2020 renewal of the Caulfield Cup would not go ahead. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions to sporting schedules all over the world, and many thought next month’s carnival at Caulfield would have to be scrapped.

Yet, after events like Royal Ascot and the Kentucky Derby went ahead behind closed doors so successfully, the Australian government gave Caulfield the greenlight to stage this lucrative race in-front of empty stands. The prize pot may be a little depleted this term, but it remains one of the most sought-after prizes in horse racing, and the 2020 Caulfield Cup has attracted a strong list of entries.

Vow And Declare could return to Caulfield before heading back to the Melbourne Cup, but he sits a long way from the top of the Caufield Cup betting tips, having endured a difficult campaign thus far. At the head of the current market we find Sky High Stakes winner Master Of Wine, and Danny O’Brien’s Orderofthegarter, who won the Foundation Cup at Caulfield on his return to action after 735-days off the track.

Covid restrictions haven’t prevented Irish Champion Trainer, Aidan O’Brien entering some of his best middle-distance horses in the 2020 Caulfield Cup. Former Epsom Derby winner, Anthony Van Dyck has been handed top-weight, but he’s steadily been closing in on the market leaders since O’Brien confirmed he was Melbourne bound.

Joseph O’Brien, Aidan’s son and the youngest trainer to ever win the Melbourne Cup, has Buckhurst and Master Of Reality entered up at Caulfield. Andrew Balding’s Dashing Willoughby could take in the Caulfield Cup before going on to Flemington. As could Le Don De Vie and Nickajack Cave, who’ve both moved from Europe to Australian stables, with a view to running in the Melbourne Cup next month.