MRC Chairman’s Statement: Caulfield Cup

You may have seen reports regarding proposed changes to the BMW Caulfield Cup in today’s media.

Specifically, around the prospect of the race being altered from a handicap to weight-for-age conditions, among certain other elements including increased prize money.

Please note that these are merely options that we are considering, and are not confirmed changes.

We carefully assess all of our major races after they are run each and every year with a view to exploring any possibilities that may improve them and their participation and stature locally and abroad.

And we embark upon a process of consultation with various industry stakeholders, clubs and participant groups as we navigate through evaluating our races.

In this instance, such a change would assist to ensure that more of Australia’s premier stayers, those best suited to running in a 2400-metre Group 1, would likely be assembled at Caulfield when in recent years they may not have – including the likes of Preferment, It’s A Dundeel, Criterion, Puissance De Lune, Hartnell and Fiorente. This prospect has been aided by the agreement by the VRC to alter the conditions of the Melbourne Cup regarding the penalty or re-handicapping traditionally applied to the Caulfield Cup winner, should the Caulfield Cup be run under weight-for-age conditions.

It would also enhance our prospects of recruiting superior stayers from abroad, further developing the reputation of our greatest event on the global stage.

It cannot be overstated that the Committee and executive of the Melbourne Racing Club has the utmost respect for the rich history and tradition of the Caulfield Cup, and in no way wants to see that diminished.

Any changes made to the conditions of the Caulfield Cup would be made only in absolute confidence that the quality and esteem of the race is enhanced both domestically and internationally.

We will seek to keep you updated as we continue through the process of consultation and approval required to consider such an important decision amid an exciting time for the club.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Symons
Melbourne Racing Club Chairman