Quick Facts: Caulfield Cup

Craig Williams tasted Caulfield Cup triumph in 2012 with Dunaden. Image courtesy of abc.net.au

It's one of the richest races not just in Australia, but across the globe. Winning the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup is a career highlight, desperately sought after by jockeys, trainers and owners. Like any horse race, the Caulfield Cup has produced some shock results, jaw-dropping achievements, and incredible moments that will never be forgotten. So, what are the important facts you should know ahead of Saturday's event? 

Fact 1: Barriers

Drawing a wide barrier can end a horse's chances of winning before they even leave the gates, however that hasn't been the case in recent times. Three of the past five winners have jumped from barriers 13 or wider. Craig Williams steered Dunaden to victory in 2012 from the outside gate (18), and the 37-year-old could have been set for a repeat after Dandino drew the carpark, however Marc Botti's import has since pulled out through injury. That scratching means outsider Sea Moon will jump from the widest gate.

Fact 2: Age

In recent years, younger horses have enjoyed success in this event, with 11 of the past 20 winners aged four. Saturday's race includes just two four-year-olds in mares Rising Romance and race favourite Lucia Valentina  (pictured right). Green Moon and Unchain My Heart  are the 'golden oldies', both will race as eight-year-olds.

Fact 3: Form

There are many events gallopers use as lead-up races to the Caulfield Cup, however history shows us the best guides are the Underwood and Turnbull Stakes. Lidari was best of the runners in the Underwood Stakes this year, finsihing fourth, while Lucia Valentina gained cup favouritsm after storming to victory in the Turnbull Stakes. In the past three decades, 13 winners have come from the Underwood Stakes, while 12 have come from the Turnbull Stakes.     

Fact 4: Favourites

As mentioned before, Lucia Valentina is the overwhelming favourite, however the next fact isn't good reading for trainer Kris Lees. Just one of the past nine favourites has saluted in the 2400m feature, that being Master O'Reilly in 2007 who was equal favourite at $9. The shortest priced favourite to win the race was Tulloch in 1957, who jumped as a $1.66 proposition.     

Fact 5: Roughies

With a field of 18 runners in the Cup, the winner tends to have a bit of value about them. In the past 31 years, 16 winners have started at double figure odds, including last year's victor Fawkner ($11). The highest priced winner was Saint Warden in 1943, who would have produced a smile on punters who took him at $101. This year's rank outsider is fourth emergency Renew which only gained a start because of four scratchings.

Fact 6: Jockeys

With five Caulfield Cup wins to his name, Scobie Breasley (pictured right) remains the event's most successful jockey. Breasley won the race in 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945 and 1952. Damien Oliver is hot on Breasley's heels, however, with four wins to his name. Oliver, who rode the winners of the event in 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1999, has the chance to equal Breasley's record on Chris Waller's gelding Hawkspur Saturday afternoon.

Fact 7: Trainers

They call Bart Cummings the 'Cups King', and there's a reason why. Along with his record 12 Melbourne Cups, Cummings has been ever-so dominant in the Caulfield Cup too. He has won the event on seven seperate occasions, the latest with Viewed in 2009. Chris Waller, one of the most successful Australian trainers in recent years, is yet to win a Caulfield Cup, however he has the most runners on Saturday in Junoob , Who Shot Thebarman , Moriarty and Hawkspur. 

Fact 8: Weights

Only six horses have carried more than 56.5kg to victory since metric weights were introduced in 1972, indicating how the race has evolved over the past four decades. Japenese runner Admire Rakti is the top weight with 58kg, and only three horses in history have won carrying that amount, or more. Tony McEvoy's Big Memory , Unchain My Heart  and Renew  are the lightest weighted on Saturday with just 52kg.

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