Historic TAB Turnbull Stakes to Cup winner Gold Trip

7 October 2023 Written by VRC

An international charge from Great Britain and Hong Kong was not enough to stop Gold Trip from landing the Group 1 TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) in front of nearly 15,000 racegoers at Flemington Racecourse today, adding a second major at racing headquarters to his 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup victory.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Gold Trip flew from well back for jockey Mark Zahra, charging home to take the $750,000 feature by a length and three-quarters from UK visitor West Wind Blows with Lexus Melbourne Cup-bound Soulcombe a further long neck away in third. Favourite Romantic Warrior finished fourth for Hong Kong.

Lexus Melbourne Cup winners have a good record in the TAB Turnbull Stakes, although neither has won the race as defending Cup champion since Makybe Diva took the prize before her historic third success on the first Tuesday in November in 2005.

However, Cup winners Efficient, Green Moon and Verry Elleegant all grace the honour roll this century, with Gold Trip now joining their number.

Catching the eye in behind was fifth-placed Lunar Flare, who will look to follow the likes of Gold Trip, Very Elleegant and Vow And Declare in producing a solid Turnbull run in behind the placegetters before progressing to Lexus Melbourne Cup glory. She is guaranteed a run next month after securing a Golden Ticket with her victory in the Lexus Andrew Ramsden Stakes.

Special guests to enjoy TAB Turnbull Stakes Day included the likes of Australian Para-equestrian and VRC Ambassador Emma Booth, AFL young guns Bailey Scott (North Melbourne Football Club) alongside partner Bella Henry and Anthony Scott (Western Bulldogs Football Club).

Curtis Stone OAM and Luke Stone were also on course as they continue to prepare for the launch of their Michelin-starred restaurant Gwen in the Birdcage Enclosure at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Former Richmond Football Club superstar Jack Riewoldt left with a smile on his face after his horse Soulcombe put in an impressive performance in the TAB Turnbull Stakes.

The Lexus Melbourne Cup dream is well and truly alive for the connections of Future History, who earned a berth in the ‘race that stops a nation’™ with his victory in the $500,000 Group 3 Lexus Bart Cummings (2520m).

Future History, a stablemate of Gold Trip, now also holds a Golden Ticket for the Lexus Melbourne Cup, joining Lunar Flare, Lexus Roy Higgins Quality winner Goldman and Ebor Handicap hero Absurde in being guaranteed one of 24 spots for the $8.4 million contest.

Many of today’s winners are bound for Group 1 races over the Melbourne Cup Carnival, including Group 2 World Pool Danehill Stakes (1100m) winner Stretan Angel, set for the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Penfolds Victoria Derby Day, as well as Listed ABC Bullion Super Impose Stakes (1800m) victor Riff Rocket, whose runaway success has seen him emerge as a leading Derby contender.

Group 2 TAB Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) winner Zardozi is bound for the Kennedy Oaks, while Life Lessons - so tough in taking the Group 2 Rose of Kingston Stakes (1400m) - will target the Empire Rose Stakes. Meanwhile, sprint sensation Star Patrol is heading for the Darley Champions Sprint on TAB Champions Stakes Day after his triumph in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chief Executive Steve Rosich said that TAB Turnbull Stakes Day provided plenty of insights ahead of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“Gold Trip provided Australia with a sporting moment to remember when he won last year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup, and his win today again highlighted his class,” Mr Rosich said.

“He emulated Makybe Diva with his TAB Turnbull Stakes victory and she went on to add another Melbourne Cup later that spring, so we can’t wait to see Gold Trip attempt the same feat in just four weeks.

“The Group 1 race day had a strong international flavour with horses from Hong Kong and the UK and the World Pool operational on the last five races, with many punters rejoicing at the significant tote value for Gold Trip.

“TAB Turnbull Stakes Day has also been the best guide to finding the Lexus Melbourne Cup winner over the past decade and the dream is alive for Future History and his connections too after his Golden Ticket success in the Lexus Bart Cummings. We are excited to welcome Goldman, Lunar Flare, Absurde and Future History next month as Golden Ticket winners throughout the year.

“For all of us here at the Victoria Racing Club, our attention now turns to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, which begins in 28 days with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day.”

Off the track VRC Members enjoyed the Meet the Milliner, Pamper Lounge and fashion illustrators, with younger racegoers flocking to the Flemington Family Lawn.

The greatest week in Australian racing begins with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 4 November, continues with Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 7 November and Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 9 November before culminating in TAB Champions Stakes Day on Saturday 11 November.

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