The Caulfield Guineas takes place at Caulfield Racecourse on the second Saturday of October each year during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and is an early-season Group 1 race for three-year-olds.
It was first run in 1881 when won by Wheatear and had a brief four-year stint at Flemington Racecourse between 1940 and 1943 but is a mainstay of the racing calender at Caulfield.
With a $1million prize fund, it attracts the cream of the three-year-old brigade and is the headline act on the first of three days of the Caulfield Carnival. Also taking place on Caulfield Guineas Day are the Group 1 Toorak Handica and the Group 1 Yalumba Stakes.
The Caulfield Guineas, which has had Group 1 status since 1979, is a set-weights race run over 1600m and is typically a lead up to the Caulfield Cup
, which takes place the following Saturday. Any fillies taking part in the race get a 2kg allowance.
Some of the runners in the Caulfield Guineas may have contested the Turnbull Stakes
seven days earlier at Flemington Racecourse or the Caulfield Guineas Prelude, which is often a big betting double with the big race. Helmut achieved the double in 2011.
The roll of honour is exceptional with numerous Caulfield Guineas winners going on to achieve big thing both here in Australia and also overseas in the case of 2010 winner Starspangledbanner, who raced to victory at Royal Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Other former winners of the Caulfield Guineas include multiple Group 1 winners Ajax II (1937), Tulloch (1957), Storm Queen (1966), Vain (1969), Surround (1976), Luskin Star (1977), Manikato (1978), Red Anchor (1984), Mahogany (1993), Redoute's Choice (1999), Lonhro (2001), Weekend Hussler (2007), Whobegotyou (2009) and All Too Hard (2012). Surround is the last filly to win the Caulfield Guineas.
The race has traditionally also been a strong indicator to the Cox Plate
at Moonee Valley in which three-year-olds take on older horses and some runners also head on to contest the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup
And having ran in the Caulfield Guineas, some horses may take a different route and tackle the Group 2 AAMI Vase at Moonee Valley, the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate or Group 1 Newmarket Handicap
as well as the Victoria Derby
, which is also limited to three-year-olds and staged during the Melbourne Cup Carnival