Taufan's Melody (GB)
1998 Caulfield Cup

Taufan (USA) - Glorious Fate (IRE)
Foaled: 1991
The 1998 Caulfield Cup, run on 17 October, was the year that this time honoured handicap event, won by greats as Tulloch and Might and Power, included international runners. The event was marred by controversy throughout. The well fancied Our Unicorn missed a start, when 1st emergency, through the inclusion of the unqualified internationl runner, Taufan's Melody. The British horse was included in the field, at the discretion of the VATC Committee, after it was discovered, to the Club's embarrassment, that he had not qualified under the race's prizemoney clause. The irony continued, with the last minute scratching of the NZ mare, Fayreform, who played up badly in the barriers, which must have added insult to injury for the connections of Our Unicorn.

The controversy continued, when Taufan's Melody was victorious. The aged British stayer, who was well below top class in the UK, managed to emulate the great Vintage Crop in winning the event in the first year that international runners participated. However in doing so, the horse, under the guidance of Ray Cochrane, caused severe interference to the New Zealand mares Jezabeel and Champagne (both by super sire Zabeel). Jezabeel recovered to finish 6th, and her jockey Chris Munce protested unsuccessfully against the winner. Champagne was put right out of the race, and in fact, almost over the running rail, her trainer commented that "she was ok once they removed the running rail from her". Cochrane's ride can only be described as a disgrace, as he made no attempt to straighten his mount, and caused severe and dangerous interference to both mares. He later admitted that he deserved the "holiday", as he described, and the fact that Australia does not have a relegation rule may well have influenced his tactics on the day. The media of course had a field day, and the mounting yard was absolute bedlam following the win. Taufan's Melody was trained by Lady Herries, and his jockey Ray Cochrane was later suspended for one month and given a reasonably hefty fine for failing to straighten his mount in the straight. Tie the Knot was slightly disappointing running third, when he failed to reel in the winner and Lisa's Game who ran second.

Jezabeel and Champagne put matters right at Flemington however, with Champagne winning the MacKinnon in brilliant style, and they then ran one-two in the Melbourne Cup, with Jezabeel coming again to prevail narrowly on the line. However, Taufan's Melody can not be dismissed out of hand, because he also ran with distinction in the Melbourne Cup, where he managed a creditable fourth. 1998 was somewhat of an embarrassment for Australia's staying ranks, given the Caulfield Cup result and the fact that the UK runners ran 3rd, 4th and 5th in the Melbourne Cup, not too far away from the two New Zealand mares. Tie the Knot, who ran a most unlucky 6th (in what may not have been Dye's best ride on the horse), was the first Australian bred horse across the line.
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Taufan's Melody
Faithful Son
Taufan's Melody