The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Trainers Ciaron Maher & David Eustace have run first and third in the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup results with the stable’s top-weight Gold Trip scoring a historic two length victory over Emissary (2nd) and his Bendigo Cup winning stablemate High Emocean (3rd).
The heaviest-weighted Melbourne Cup winner since the mighty Makybe Diva for her third with 58kg back in 2005, the imported French-bred son of Outstrip was huge with 57.5kg in the 162nd edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. It’s phenomenal,” co-trainer Maher told Racing.com after his biggest career success.
“I think I said to dad when I was about 12, ‘we’ll go to New Zealand and buy a New Zealand horse and win the Cup.
“There’s been plenty of hurdles since.
“Just such a special moment.”
It had been a long time between drinks for six-year-old Gold Trip who had won just one other race before his triumph in the world’s richest handicap race.
He was a Group 2 winner over 2200m in France back in 2020 and winless until jockey Mark Zahra gave him a perfectly timed ride to salute in the Melbourne Cup 2022 in front of the big crowd at Flemington.
“This time last year I was sitting at home watching Verry Elleegant (win the Melbourne Cup),” Zahra said.
“To come a full year and have redemption…it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Connections paid big money for the stallion and were forced to be patient after Gold Trip was scratched on the eve of last year’s Cox Plate.
It has been a spring of atonement then for the horse who has now more than rewarded the patience of the Australian Bloodstock ownership group, Gold Trip the first horse in five years to contest the ‘Big 3’ spring majors in Melbourne.
The Melbourne Cup was also the horse’s first look at the two-miles, but co-trainer Eustace said the team were always confident he would see it out.
“We were confident he’d get it,” Eustace said of Gold Trip running out a strong 3200m.
“He didn’t get a shot last year, so I suppose it was sort of redemption for the horse as much as anything.
“He showed he was a top liner.”
Gold Trip ran a terrific second to Durston when run down late by the winner, who carried six kilos less, in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
A luckless, but still eye-catching, ninth behind Godolphin gun Anamoe when dropping back in distance followed in the weight-for-age Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
With Durston out of the Melbourne Cup prior to final acceptances, there was no horse to finish in front of Gold Trip in the second leg of the Spring Cups double.
Having travelled off the speed throughout, Zahra had concerns about how his horse would handle the distance and had been hesitant to go too early fearing he would fade late.
“I was really doubtful he’d run 3200 (metres),” Zahra admitted.
“Early I was thinking I was a bit too far back…but I didn’t want to push early and have him die late.
“I was in a three-wide lane that kept improving.
“At the top of the straight I thought ‘right, it’s time to go’. He let rip when I asked him!”
As it turned out, what Zahra had feared happened with the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Knights Order.
After travelling three-wide throughout, jockey Tim Clark took off early on the autumn’s Sydney Cup winner going to the front with more than 800m left to travel.
The James Ferguson-trained favourite from the UK, Deauville Legend, meanwhile looked in a lovely position fourth approaching the home turn given every chance by three-time Melbourne Cup winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy.
Knights Order, trying to break their hearts, was still leading at the 400m but was quickly run down by those from further back in the field coming with their runs including Gold Trip who charged down the outside.
The eventual Melbourne Cup winner flew straight past the heavily-backed European and into the history books with two lengths to spare on the line over Michael Moroney‘s Geelong Cup winner Emissary ($26) who was so brave in second with Patrick Moloney in the saddle.
“For me, it’s just a great honour just to be working with these horses and working for Ciaron,” Maher said.
“It’s not lost on me what a privilege it is.
“It’s pretty surreal a the moment.
“We were very very worried the last 100 (metres) with Emissary coming. Thinking it was going to be a repeat of the Caulfield Cup!
“But Mark gave him the most beautiful ride.
“The horse kicked at the right time, and thank god he did.”
Relishing a big feature race placing was also Teo Nugent, fourth in the race last year on Floating Artist for the stable and third this year making up plenty of late ground on the fast-finishing Ocean Park mare High Emocean ($41).
“Really great for Teo as well,” Maher said of their former apprentice on the Melbourne Cup third-placed mare.
“We set a plan for her…fantastic result.”
Three horses walked home in the Melbourne Cup with Numerian (19th), Serptentine (20th) and Camorra (21st), who reportedly didn’t handle the track conditions, all running over 73 lengths off the winner but seeming to pull up without serious injury.
Interpretation from the winning stable failed to finish, but was back in the pre-parade shortly having pulled up okay with his failed run put down to a wind issue.
2022 Melbourne Cup Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||GOLD TRIP (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Mark Zahra||13||57.5kg||$21|
|2||17||EMISSARY (GB)||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||2L||3||51.5kg||0.5kg||$26|
|3||22||HIGH EMOCEAN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Teo Nugent||3.25L||8||50kg||$41|
|4||8||DEAUVILLE LEGEND (IRE)||James Ferguson||Kerrin McEvoy||5L||9||55kg||$4.40F|
|5||24||REALM OF FLOWERS||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Damien Thornton||6L||5||50kg||$8|
|6||14||DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Daniel Moor||7.25L||12||53kg||$61|
|7||19||SMOKIN’ ROMANS (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Jamie Kah||7.65L||15||51.5kg||1.5kg||$17|
|8||9||STOCKMAN (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Sam Clipperton||7.85L||2||54kg||$16|
|9||3||KNIGHTS ORDER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||8.6L||22||55.5kg||$18|
|10||10||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Blake Shinn||8.7L||4||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$21|
|11||16||ARAPAHO (FR)||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||10.95L||18||52.5kg||$61|
|12||12||HOO YA MAL (GB)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Craig Williams||20.95L||14||53.5kg||$13|
|13||6||WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE)||Simon & Ed Crisford||William Buick||21.15L||17||55.5kg||$12|
|14||15||GRAND PROMENADE (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Harry Coffey||21.35L||1||53kg||$71|
|15||11||YOUNG WERTHER (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||22.85L||19||54kg||$31|
|16||4||MONTEFILIA||David Payne||Jason Collett||23.05L||11||55.5kg||$9.50|
|17||20||TRALEE ROSE (NZ)||Symon Wilde||Dean Yendall||30.05L||20||51.5kg||$51|
|18||2||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Hugh Bowman||38.05L||10||55.5kg||$21|
|19||5||NUMERIAN (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Tommy Berry||73.05L||7||55.5kg||$61|
|20||13||SERPENTINE (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||John Allen||99L||21||53.5kg||$31|
|21||7||CAMORRA (IRE)||Ben & JD Hayes||Ben Melham||99L||16||55kg||$41|
|FF||23||INTERPRETATION (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Craig Newitt||6||50kg||$51|
|18||LUNAR FLARE||Grahame Begg||Michael Dee||0||0.5kg|
|21||POINT NEPEAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Wayne Lordan||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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