Finding An Edge At The Track: Caulfield

How well do you know one of Melbourne's iconic racecourses?

Caulfield Racecourse edge track

Caulfield Racecourse is one of Australia’s most well-known and loved tracks.

The first races held at Caulfield were in 1859. In those days jockeys rode through the bush, sand hills and heath, which is where the nickname, ‘The Heath’ comes from.

Caulfield is known for hosting some of the biggest races in the country, including those that are part of the Caulfield Cup Carnival. The Carnival boasts three days of racing and includes the Caulfield Guineas, Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes Day and, of course, the Caulfield Cup itself.

The course is lush and green and can often be on the softer side. This tends to lend itself to runners that can stick to the inside and those up on the pace. The further out the rail gets the more of an advantage those on the pace end up with.

With its sharp turns, a rising back straight and short home straight, it provides plenty of good racing all year round.

Stats You Need To Know

Of the jockeys, it’s been Craig Williams and Mark Zahra who have had the highest winning percentage over the last 12 months. Williams currently sits at 15.32% and Zahra at 15.07%. Williams has had 124 starts for 19 wins during that period.

Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra is the trainer combination with the best strike rate in the last 12 months. They’ve won 27 races from 264 runners in 198 total races at a strike rate of 13.64%. Anthony Freedman is running at 14.71%, however he’s had just the 34 starts.

Getting An Edge With A Pro-Punter

Trevor Lawson heads up the Melbourne Ratings membership for Champion Bets. He’s regularly betting into the races at Caulfield and has a few insights on the best way for punters to look at the track conditions and weather to potentially gain an edge.

Caulfield features sharp turns and patchy weather. Are there any nuances to Caulfield that you notice in your analysis?

As a general rule, it’s the on pace runners are favoured with Caulfield being a bit tighter track than Flemington.

It has been suggested that Caulfield plays a bit on the softer side as a general rule. Would you agree with that and how does it impact runners?

Caulfield generally plays fairly firm. The club understands that punters want to bet on genuine good tracks and therefore produce those sort of tracks. I would suggest turnover is good at Caulfield.

What sort of runner, pace wise, is most suited and why?

Because of the nuance of the track, horses are on a turn for a lot longer. The closer you are to the rail the less extra ground you have to travel. Therefore on pacers runners are the most suited. And that’s the case for most tracks, certainly in Melbourne.

Are there any jockeys or trainers that you really like at Caulfield and why?

Like Flemington, with the metro prize money so good, anyone with a nice horse targets their races. With jockeys, they all tend to have their ins and outs.

What sort of an impact does the weather have on Caulfield?

The wind has a big impact. Winds from the north and west are into their face done the side (900-500m) and into their face in the straight. Southerly winds are behind them down the side which tends to suit on pacers.

Do the big racing carnivals, like the three day Caulfield Cup Carnival, make for improved betting at Caulfield?

Yes in that they are generally for the better class horses which by nature tend to be consistent. Horses from interstate make the puzzle a bigger harder for the average punter. So there can be a bit of value to be found for those prepared to delve into form studiously.

What tips would you give for your average punter betting at Caulfield?

Like Flemington, check the wind. Definitely target on pacers in southerly winds. Northerly winds can hinder those without cover up on the pace. Backmarkers as a general rule have poor records at Caulfield.