Gold Trip wins thrilling Lexus Melbourne Cup
Crowds roared and connections cheered as Gold Trip became the first top weight since the legendary Makybe Diva in 2005 to take the $8 million Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
Prepared by Victoria’s champion trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and partnered by jockey Mark Zahra, Gold Trip defied his impost to race clear for a two-length success over Geelong Cup winner Emissary, representing Flemington horseman Michael Moroney.
Maher and Eustace, who brought up their first Cup triumph, followed in Moroney’s footsteps by sending out first and third - just as Moroney did in 2000 with Brew and Second Coming - with the duo’s Bendigo Cup winner High Emocean finishing powerfully for third.
It represented a first Lexus Melbourne Cup victory for a number of Australia’s leading racing identities, with connections behind champion sprinting mare Black Caviar, Neil Werrett and Colin Madden, joining with Australian Bloodstock in the ownership of Gold Trip. Also among the ownership group are the likes of prolific investors Noel and Maria Greenhalgh and Frank and Christine Cook.
Victoria Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said it was a thrilling performance enhanced by the return of crowds to Flemington for ‘the race that stops a nation’.
“Congratulations to Ciaron Maher, David Eustace, Mark Zahra and all of the owners of Gold Trip,” Mr Rosich said.
“It takes a very special horse to win the Lexus Melbourne Cup as top weight - Gold Trip becomes only the 11th horse to win the Cup with the number one saddlecloth, joining greats like Makybe Diva, Rising Fast, Phar Lap, Carbine and Archer.
“It was a performance for the ages and it shows just how the Lexus Melbourne Cup manages to produce an amazing story every year, just as it has done since 1861.
“Thank you to every VRC member and patron that attended Flemington today for the162nd running of the Lexus Melbourne Cup. The weather was challenging but we were delighted that the weather shone for the pre Cup and the running of Australia’s greatest race to ensure everyone enjoyed it to the highest degree.”
Mr Rosich also congratulated the community of Gold Coast which was the winning Lexus Melbourne Cup National Sweep destination.
“The VRC is proud to present the community of Gold Coast with $50,000 which will be split between their two nominated charities - The Griffith University Institute for Glycomics and the National Breast Cancer Foundation,” Mr Rosich said.
Maher and Eustace also prepared the quinella in the race after the Lexus Melbourne Cup, the first of two races dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II this week. The In Memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1400m) was taken out by Detonator Jack, defeating stablemate Nugget who dead-heated with Nick Ryan’s Munhamek.
It was a day that saw some of Australia’s emerging trainers shine across the card. Flemington trainer Simon Zahra scored early, taking the Group 3 Darley Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) with Krakarib, while young British expats Archie Alexander and Annabel Neasham scored Listed victories with High Approach (TAB Trophy) and Bartholomeu Dias (Furphy Plate) respectively.
Flemington trainer James Cummings took the Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m) with Larkspur Run, while Grahame Begg and Michael Dee combined to take the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) with Vespertine. Meanwhile, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained White Marlin looks to be on track for next year’s Cup after his five and a half length success in The Macca’s Run (2800m).
Following Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, James McDonald continues to lead the Ron Hutchinson Award for jockeys during Melbourne Cup Carnival, while Maher and Eustace lead the JB Cummings Award for trainers.
The pre-Cup entertainment featured Men At Work front man Colin Hay performing a special rendition of unofficial national song Down Under to celebrate the Cup’s place at the heart of Australian folklore.
The Lexus Melbourne Cup was delivered to VRC Chairman Neil Wilson in the Mounting Yard by Melbourne Cup Carnival Ambassador and Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus OAM, escorted by flag bearers and owners representing each of the horses competing in the ‘race that stops a nation’™.
Australian singer-songwriter and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Cody Simpson dazzled racegoers with rousing rendition of the Australian National Anthem.
Fashion and Food
In Flemington’s fashion, food and entertainment precinct The Park, free for all racegoers, Australian indie pop powerhouse Sheppard delighted fans with an hour-long performance which included their ARIA number one single, the five-times platinum Geronimo.
The chic and exclusive Birdcage hosted local and international stars including supermodel Adut Akech in Lexus, cricket legend Brian Lara in TAB, Aussie tradie and mega long-distance runner Nedd Brockmann and media personality Bec Judd in G.H. Mumm, TV personality Melissa Leong in Paramount and Melbourne Cup Carnival Ambassadors Delta Goodrem and Ariarne Titmus OAM in the VRC’s own Villa Paradiso.
Fashions on the Field
The celebrations continued for the 60th anniversary of Myer Fashions on the Field with The Park coming to life with an incredible display of flamboyant fashion and colour. Once again the strong calibre of entrants made for hotly contested finals with the Best Dressed winners Bernadette May, Deb Parish and Eleanor Campbell along with the Best Suited winners Joel Parkinson, Michael McAlpine and Sherlon Garbo heading straight into the grand final on Kennedy Oaks Day.
The final of the creative and design-led Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award was judged by an international panel of fashion experts including Stephen Jones OBE, Jackie Frank, daughter of Lilian Frank and Edwina McCann, Editor in Chief of Vogue Australia. The award recently renamed to honor the late Melbourne icon, philanthropist and friend of Flemginton, Lillian Frank AM MBE was won by Melbourne based milliner Souri Sengdara of Velvet and Tonic. The two-toned jinsin hat with gold embellishment, called ‘Flow’, was inspired by the VRC's bid to increase inclusivity and reach within the Fashions on the Field competition. ‘Flow’ was created to be gender neutral and to be worn by anyone who loves it.