The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Can Gold Trip Go Back-To-Back in the Melbourne Cup Results 2023?
Gold Trip was huge scoring an impressive upset in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last year, but can the classy galloper go back-to-back with a successful title defence in the 2023 Melbourne Cup results?
Five horses have won multiple editions of Australia’s most famous race with dual champions Archer (1861, 1862); Peter Pan (1932, 1934); Rain Lover (1968, 1969); Think Big (1974, 1975); and the event’s only three-time hero to date Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005).
On Tuesday the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained import Gold Trip is out to be the next and he comes into the 163rd running via the same form line as last spring.
In 2022 the son of Outstrip ran fifth in the Turnbull Stakes, second in the Caulfield Cup, ninth in the Cox Plate run on a Heavy (8), and then put two lengths on his closest rival Emissary winning the Melbourne Cup in style as a $21 outsider with the 57.5kg top-weight.
This year, deservingly so, he will carry the heftiest kilos again going up to 58.5kg.
He has been tremendous in the lead-up winning the Turnbull, running third in the Caulfield Cup, and then finishing a slashing fifth only 1.4 lengths beaten in the Cox Plate in his final preparatory run that impressed co-trainer Maher.
“I thought it was a huge run, he’s come through it pretty well,” Maher told Racing.com last week.
“I thought he looked amazing on the day, probably the best he’s looked I reckon.
“Just the track firming up – when Mark (Zahra) really asked him, he just sort of wanted to lay in a fraction and he doesn’t sort of do that when there is that little bit of give in the track.”
Mark Zahra surprisingly has opted to come off the defending Melbourne Cup champ after the Cox Plate in favour of this year’s Caulfield Cup winner Without A Fight.
In his place is a very good replacement in Cox Plate winning hoop James McDonald.
“I thought he (Zahra) might have went that way anyway, just with Gold Trip’s weight, but hopefully he (Gold Trip) can whizz past him,” Maher added.
So, did Zahra make the right call or will he be licking his wounds come 3:00pm (AEDT) on Tuesday afternoon at Flemington?
2023 Melbourne Cup Horse Form: #1 Gold Trip
Jockey: James McDonald
Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Owner/s: Australian Bloodstock, Mr J W Woodbridge, Whitegate Pastoral, Roth Brogan, Gold Trip, Surf Coast Racing, Mr S J Pellegrino, Mr B G Taylor, Mr M Belford, Mr J Garvey, Mr N A Greenhalgh, Mrs M T Greenhalgh, Mr C H Madden, Mystery Downs, Mrs C M Cook, Mr B J Nally, Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr L Caminiti, Mr J M Simmons
Breeding: by OUTSTRIP (GB) from SARVANA (FR)
Last 10: x2570x4135
Prize Money: $7,342,739
Current 2021 Melbourne Cup Odds*: $4.80 (at time of publish) – BET NOW
Why Gold Trip Can Defend His Melbourne Cup Title
- He is a proven champion and has won the race before
- He is prepared by one of the country’s leading stables with Maher & Eustace
- James McDonald is arguably the top hoop going around in Australia and he has ridden the horse before
- James McDonald is a past Melbourne Cup winning jockey having ridden Verry Elleegant to victory in 2021
- Comes via the same three lead-up races as he did last spring
- Is going arguably even strong 12 months on
- His lead-up fifth in the Cox Plate was enormous
- Great record at the Flemington track (3:2-0-0) with two of his three career wins being Group 1s at headquarters
- One of the best drawn with gate two
Why Gold Trip Won’t Go Back-to-Back in the Melbourne Cup Race
- He has to carry the 58.5kg top-weight that hasn’t happened since Think Big won his second back in 1975
- Jockey Mark Zahra opted to come off him in favour of a ride on rival Without A Fight
- Will need to be good getting on in age as a seven-year-old
- Faces some star internationals with Vauban looking a tough beat
- No horse has won multiple Melbourne Cup races since the Makybe Diva three-peat (2005-07)
- He may have won the Melbourne Cup last year and this year’s Turnbull Stakes but Gold Trip has won just three times overall from a 24-start career
- He only as a 12.5% Win Rate
*Note: 2023 Melbourne Cup odds are correct at time of publish, provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change without notice.
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