Let’s Elope, a superstar mare
Let’s Elope became the first mare in more than 50 years to complete Australia's famed Caulfield Cup - Melbourne Cup double (the "Cups double").
Let’s Elope, a mare with a memorable name (she was out of Blushing Groom and Runaway Bride) bred and first raced in NZ, was a champion of the turf and a special Flemington horse. She had wins in the Turnbull and Mackinnon Stakes and the Australian Cup and of course, the famous 1991 Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double where she was the first mare in more than 50 years to master the feat (the previous being Rivette in 1939). Her seven-race winning streak of the 1991/1992 spring and autumn seasons, which started with the Turnbull Stakes and ended with the Australian Cup, was stunning, as they were all Group 1 or Group 2 races won over a broad range of distances. Deservedly, she was awarded Australian Horse of the Year in 1992.
Her trainer, the legendary Bart Cummings was impressed by his ninth winner in the Melbourne Cup, stating in his autobiography, “I doubt I’ve trained a better mare – Leilani and Light Fingers are the only ones who bear any comparison.”
Despite efforts, Let’s Elope didn’t replicate her efforts of 1991/92. She had a short stint racing in America, but injury forced her retirement at the end of 1993. She then proved to be a successful breeder, producing the noteworthy Ustinov (by Seeking the Gold), Yes I Will (by Danzig) and Outback Joe (by Elvoestrem) who won the 2014 Adelaide Cup.
In September 2016, Let’s Elope died in her sleep, aged 29, at Lauriston Park in Euroa, following a career as a nanny mare at Seven Creeks Stud then at Lauriston Park. The champion, who many called the original ‘queen of the turf’ will never be forgotten.