First run in 1863 (won by Barwon), the Australian Cup horse race has been run over a variety of longer distances. In 1964 it was shortened to 2000m. It is a race held under Weight for Age conditions. It has been a Group 1 race since 1980 and WFA since 1979, except for 1982-86 when a handicap.
Run over 3600m 1863-1942; 3400m 1943-62; 2800m 1963 and 2000m since 1964. The Australian Cup was at Caulfield in 2007.
Notable winners include CRAFTSMAN (1964, 65), who won the first two editions at the new distance: BORE HEAD (1966) won the Caulfield Cup (1965); and star mare LEILANI (1975) had won the ATC Australian Oaks, Turnbull Stakes, Toorak Hep, Caulfield Cup and Mackinnon Stakes the previous year.
MING DYNASTY (1978, 80) won it twice, and was also a dual winner of the Caulfield Cup (1977, 80); DULCIFY (1979) won the Victoria Derby (1978), ATC Australian Derby, Turnbull Stakes and the Cox Plate (1979) by a record 7 lengths; HYPERNO (1981) won 20 races including the Melbourne Cup (1979); BONECRUSHER (1987); dashing Queensland front-runner VO ROGUE (1989, 90) went back to back. His 26 wins included two Turnbull Stakes (1987, 88), three CF Orr Stakes (1988-90), the Futurity Stakes (1988) and the Kingston Town Classic (1988).
BETTER LOOSEN UP (1991) won the Cantala Stakes, Railway Stakes (1989), Mackinnon Stakes (1990), Cox Plate (1990) and is Australia’s only ever winner of the Japan Cup (1990); LET’S ELOPE (1992) followed up her double in the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup (1991); SAINTLY (1996) went on to victory in the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup that year; OCTAGONAL (1997) won ten Group 1 races including the ATC Sires Produce, Cox Plate (1995), ATC Australian Derby (1996) and two Tancred Stakes (1996,97).
DANE RIPPER (1998) won the Cox Plate (1997) and NORTHERLY (2001, 03) won it twice.
NORTHERLY's 19 wins included the Underwood Stakes (2001,02) twice, Railway Stakes (2000), Caulfield Cup (2001) and successive wins in the Cox Plate (2001,02).
LONHRO (2004) won the Caulfield Guineas (2001), Chipping Norton Stakes, George Main Stakes (2003) and was a dual winner of the George Ryder Stakes (2003, 04) and Caulfield Stakes (2002,03); MAKYBE DIVA (2005); ZIPPING (2010); SHOCKING (2011) won the Melbourne Cup (2009).
The most successful Australian Cup jockey is Tom Hales who won the Australian Cup eight times – Lurline (1875), Richmond (1876), Savanaka (1879), Navigator (1883), Morpeth (1884), Trident (1887), Carlyon (1888), Dreadnought (1890)
Youtha and Cyron dead-heated for first in 1969. Prizefighter and Saxonite dead-heated for first in 1912.
Australian Cup Horse Racing Past Winners
** Where 2 runners are shown as winner in a year that indicates that the result was a dead heat.