Caulfield Cup 2022 Preview: Field, Odds & Winner Trends

Smokin’ Romans, Benaud and Nonconformist are among the elite runners that will battle for glory in the $5 million Caulfield Cup on Saturday.

This eagerly anticipated race always attracts the season’s top stayers, many of whom will go on to contest the Melbourne Cup next month. It is one of the “Big 3” races within the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, and it is also the world’s richest mile-and-a-half event, so it is always fiercely contested.

In-form Smokin’ Romans is the favourite following his thumping victory in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes over 2000m at the start of October. However, he will need to get the better of Benaud and Nonconformist, who both impressed in the Might and Power last week, while danger lurks further down the field too.

Read on to learn more about the Caulfield Cup, its illustrious history, the winner trends and the leading contenders for this year’s race.


Caulfield Cup Background and History

The Caulfield Cup was first run in 1879, when Newminster saluted. The first dual winner was Paris, who won the race in 1892 and then clinched it again in 1894. The race was always held at Caulfield, but it had to be moved to Flemington during World War II. Jockey Scobie Breasley came to the fore in that era, winning four consecutive Caulfield Cups from 1942 to 1945.

It continued to grow in stature during the ensuing decades, and the race was awarded Group 1 status in 1979. The Caulfield Cup has always been run over the same distance of 2400m (initially a mile-and-a-half). The race was sponsored for the first time in 1985, with Foster’s taking the honours. Carlton Draught was the headline sponsor from 2000 to 2005, then BMW from 2006 to 2013, Crown Golden Ale in 2014, BMW from 2015 to 2017 and Stella Artois from 2018 to 2020. Carlton Draught now sponsors the race again.

Trainer Bart Cummings holds the record for the most wins in Caulfield Cup history, with seven – Galilee, Big Philou, Leilani, Ming Dynasty (twice), Let’s Elope and Viewed. Leading lights such as Chris Waller, Peter Moody and Saeed bin Suroor have prevailed in recent years. The winner receives ballot exemption from the Melbourne Cup, and it is a highly prestigious race in its own right so it always attracts famous names.


Caulfield Cup Notable Winners

Many of history’s greatest stayers have won the Caulfield Cup since it was inaugurated in the 19th century:

  • Poseidon | This famous runner from the early 20th century holds the distinction of being the first back-to-back Caulfield Cup winner and the first horse to win the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double in the same year.
  • Whittier | Winner of the Caulfield Cup in 1922 and again in 1925.
  • The Trump | The second horse to win the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double, 31 years after Poseidon achieved the feat.
  • Rivette | Winner of the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup in 1939.
  • Rising Fast | The fourth horse to complete the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double.
  • Galilee | The only horse to win the Caulfield, Melbourne and Sydney Cups in the same season.
  • Ming Dynasty | A two-time Caulfield Cup winner in 1977 and 1980, who also won two Australian Cups.
  • Gunner’s Lane | Winner of the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double in 1982.
  • Let’s Elope | A Kiwi mare who won the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup in 1991.
  • Doriemus | Winner of both Cups in 1995.
  • Might and Power | Won the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup in 1997, followed by the Cox Plate in 1998, becoming just the second horse in history to win both Cups and the Cox Plate, after Rising Horse.
  • Ethereal | The last horse to complete the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double in the same year.
  • Verry Elleegant | Won the 2020 Caulfield Cup and the 2021 Melbourne Cup.


Caulfield Cup 2021 Winner

Incentivise produced a brilliant performance to win last year’s Caulfield Cup. He started as the heavy favourite, but he had to battle against wet conditions and a tough barrier draw, which required him to cover plenty of extra ground before winning in dominant fashion. He surged past rivals Nonconformist, Montefilia and Persan with 250m to go, and he eventually won by three-and-a-half lengths.


Caulfield Cup Date and Details

The Caulfield Cup will take place on Saturday 15 October at Caulfield Racecourse. It is normally the ninth of the 10 races on the card at the meeting. The Caulfield Cup takes place over 2400m on the left-handed turf track. It is open to horses aged three and older, and it is run under handicap conditions.


Caulfield Cup Field & Contenders


Smokin’ Romans 

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace -trained galloper was initially aimed at the Melbourne Cup, but an eye-catching victory in the Group 3 Foundation Cup – a Caulfield Cup qualifying event – led to a change of plans. Smokin’ Romans produced a very strong performance to finish ahead of Maximal, Young Werther, Knights Order, Gold Trip, Luncies and Inspirational Girl in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.

He was travelling well in the closing stages of that 2000m race, and he looked as though he will relish the extra trip in the Caulfield Cup. Smokin’ Romans was given a 1.5kg penalty for winning the Naturalism, but he will remain at 51.5kg for the Caulfield Cup, as he cannot be further penalised due to the conditions of the Turnbull. That will leave him as one of the lighter horses within the field, and he is the favourite to salute on Saturday.



The odds on the Caulfield Cup suggest it will be a wide open affair, but Benaud has emerged as the second favourite after a strong showing in the Might and Power. He finished sixth, but he was just 2 ½ lengths behind talented winner Anamoe in a crowded field. Benaud also finished just ahead of Nonconformist – last year’s Caulfield Cup runner-up – in that race. He is another runner crying out for a longer trip, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the Caulfield Cup.



Nonconformist won the Group 3 Foundation Cup last year and then went on to finish second to Incentivise in the Caulfield Cup. Incentivise will not defend his crown this year, giving Nonconformist a chance to come to the fore. However, his preparations have been a little underwhelming – eighth of 14 in the G1 Memsie Stakes, seventh of eight in the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes, last in a field of six in the G1 Underwood Stakes and then seventh of eight in the G1 Might and Power. Trainer Graeme Begg will hope he improves over a longer distance on Saturday.


Inspirational Girl 

The Danny O’Brien-trained mare finished seventh in the Turnbull Stakes at the start of October, but she was only 2 ½ lengths behind Smokin’ Romans. She was caught up in traffic during that race after springing from Barrier 11, and she should have an easier trip this time around. Her most recent win came in the spring, when she beat Zaaki by a head in the G2 Blamey Stakes over 1600m at Flemington.


Gold Trip 

Gold Trip arrived in Melbourne last spring to contest the Cox Plate, but he was controversially scratched on the eve of the race. He was third in the Foundation Cup, before finishing fifth in the G1 Turnbull Stakes. Gold Trip will carry top weight 57.5kg in the Caulfield Cup, but he could give stablemate Smokin’ Romans a run for his money.


Caulfield Cup Odds

Horse Fixed Win Fixed Place
Smokin’ Romans $4.8 $2.05
Benaud $6 $2.3
Nonconformist $8.5 $3.2
Inspirational Girl $9.5 $3.5
Gold Trip $10 $3.5
Alegron $11 $3.7
Duais $11 $3.7
Maximal $14 $4.6
Numerian $15 $3.9
Knights Order $16 $4.8
Vow And Declare $16 $4.8
Montefilia $20 $5.5
No Compromise $20 $5.5
Durstan $26 $6.5
Great House $26 $6.5
Sheraz $34 $7.5
Crystal Pegasus $41 $8.5
Emissary $41 $8.5
Chapada $51 $10
Tralee Rose $51 $10
Makram $61 $12
Luncies $81 $14
Nerve Not Verve $91 $15
Sound $101 $15
Prix De Turn $151 $21
Milford $201 $26


Caulfield Cup Prize Money 

There is a $5 million prize purse available for the Caulfield Cup, making it one of the world’s richest races. The winner earns $3 million, while the owner, trainer, jockey and strapper each receive trophies valued at $150,000. The runner-up earns $700,000, a third-place finish is worth $350,000, fourth earns $200, fifth gets $150,000 and the horses that finish sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th each earn $120,000.


Caulfield Cup Winner Trends

  • Four-year-olds have the best record in the Caulfield Cup, winning 49 times in 143 editions, including four times since 2010. Five-year-olds have saluted 45 times.
  • Seven of the last 10 Caulfield Cups have been won by horses carrying 55kg or more.
  • Just five mares have won the race since 1996 – Arctic Scent, Ethereal, Southern Speed, Jameka and Verry Elleegant.
  • The Naturalism, Foundation Cup and Turnbull Stakes are among the key lead-up races, along with the Herbert Power Stakes and the Metropolitan.
  • Favourites have won five times in the past 15 years.


Caulfield Cup Tips

Everything has fallen beautifully for Smokin’ Romans in this race. He is carrying just 51.5kg and he was terrific in the closing stages of the Turnbull Stakes, so he should have a lot left in the tank, and he looks capable of saluting.

An interesting longer shot could be Vow and Declare, winner of the 2019 Melbourne Cup. He showed a glimpse of form when he placed under a heavy 61kg over 2500m at Flemington last month, and trainer Danny O’Brien is bullish on his chances, so $4.80 to place looks tempting.

**Odds quoted are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.