The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
2023 Caulfield Cup Field Update: No. 7 Nonconformist (19) has been scratched after failing his final vet check. First emergency No. 19 United Nations gets a start from out wide in barrier 17. Click here for the full story.
The official 2023 Caulfield Cup barrier draw has been confirmed with the top-weight Gold Trip to jump from gate 11.
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained champ ran second in last year’s race behind upset winner Durston from the same gate, and is out to go one better in Saturday’s Group 1 $5 million Carlton Draught Caulfield Cup (2400m).
2023 Caulfield Cup Barrier Draw Highlights:
- Gold Trip carries 58.5kg top weight from barrier 11 that he ran second from last year.
- Race favourite Soulcombe jumps from barrier six that produced last year’s Waller-trained winner Durston.
- Barrier 1 was drawn by one of the five internationals with the Joseph O’Brien-trained Valliant King to jump from the inside alley.
- Nonconformist drew the outside alley (barrier 19 into 18) but was subsequently scratched.
- The only Caulfield Cup emergency, United Nations, drew barrier 17.
The Outstrip entire went on to win Flemington’s famous two-mile classic with a Melbourne Cup success last November, and Gold Trip heads into his title defence via a lead-up Caulfield Cup run again this season.
He carried 57.5kg when a neck beaten in the 2022 Caulfield Cup results from barrier 11 (of 18) and has a kilo more with 58.5kg this weekend.
Jockey Ben Melham has picked up the ride on Gold Trip in the Caulfield Cup and was thrilled to be called up for the prized mount which will be his first time in the saddle of the French-bred stayer.
“I’ve only just found out I’m riding the horse,” Melham said when speaking to Racing.com post barrier draw.
“I think the draws are somewhat irrelevant with him with his racing pattern, but my initial thought is I’m really happy to be riding the horse.
“Couldn’t be happier with his two runs this time in, it all seems to be going better than ever.
“Hopefully he can go one better (than last year). He seems to be going better this year, which is hard to imagine.
“He’s a find his feet horse and he finds a rhythm. He’s got the weight, but he’s earned it, and I can’t see him running badly.”
The now seven-year-old was impressive returning to winning form last start in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), and is now out to do the double Incentivise (2021) completed two years ago.
Mark Zahra rode Gold Trip in the Turnbull but comes off to partner the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Without A Fight in the Caulfield Cup 2023.
Without A Fight (55.5kg) meanwhile jumps from barrier seven with Zahra after his second Caulfield Cup winning ride following his 2020 victory aboard star mare Verry Elleegant.
Teofilo gelding Without A Fight was transferred to the Freedmans in Australia over the winter after his 13th in the Melbourne Cup for Simon & Ed Crisford last spring.
The galloper enjoyed two good wins in Brisbane including the Group 2 The Q22 before resuming with a close sixth only two lengths off one of the season’s form horses, Alligator Blood, at Caulfield on September 23 in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Durston won the Caulfield Cup from barrier six last year, that gate drawn this season by the fellow Waller-trained Soulcombe.
Since 2008 barrier six has produced three Caulfield Cup winners with All The Good (2008) and Mongolian Khan (2015) also successful from that charmed gate.
Soulcombe, coming off a Turnbull Stakes third, has Craig Williams retaining the ride on 53.5kg.
Waller’s other Caulfield Cup contenders in 2023 Montefilia and Francesco Guardi drew barriers nine and 15 respectively.
Six of the past 11 Caulfield Cup winners have jumped from a double-digit barrier including two from the outside alley (18 of 18) with Dunaden (2012) and Incentivise (2021).
There are five internationals in the Caulfield Cup field with the Crisford’s West Wind Blows the best fancied in barrier two.
2023 Caulfield Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||91x2570x41||GOLD TRIP (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Melham||11||58.5kg||122|
|2||11x20x11x6||WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Mark Zahra||7||55.5kg||115|
|3||2x110x340x||BREAKUP (JPN)||Tatsuya Yoshioka||Damian Lane||5||55kg||114|
|4||x5229x8631||MONTEFILIA||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn (late alt)||9||54.5kg||112|
|5||232821×057||FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||15||54kg||112|
|6||613×312322||WEST WIND BLOWS (IRE)||Simon & Ed Crisford||Jamie Spencer||2||54kg||115|
|7||x18402x074||NONCONFORMIST||Grahame Begg||Harry Coffey||19||53.5kg||113|
|8||x1x682x143||SOULCOMBE (GB)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||6||53.5kg||115|
|9||2x131x8x06||DUKE DE SESSA (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||14||53kg||110|
|10||223180×572||HOO YA MAL (GB)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||8||53kg||111|
|11||111121×250||RIGHT YOU ARE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Michael Dee||13||53kg||114|
|12||12x530x950||EMISSARY (GB)||Michael Moroney||Jye McNeil||4||52kg||108|
|13||31x111x960||GOLDMAN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Linda Meech||18||52kg||108|
|14||00x11x513x||OKITA SOUSHI (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||Kerrin McEvoy||12||51.5kg||109|
|15||x641127x89||FAME||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Craig Newitt||16||51kg||111|
|16||x531523267||BOIS D’ARGENT (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Ms Winona Costin||3||50.5kg||107|
|17||33×6523322||SPIRIT RIDGE (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Dean Yendall||10||50.5kg||113|
|18||34×21225||VALIANT KING (GB)||Joseph O’Brien||Ms Jamie Kah||1||50kg||109|
|19e||7x41x95232||UNITED NATIONS (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Carleen Hefel (a)||17||50kg||97|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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