Lexus Melbourne Cup nominee lands in Melbourne

27 September 2021 Written by VRC

Lexus Melbourne Cup nominee Gold Trip has landed safely in Melbourne over the weekend as he prepares for upcoming spring feature races.

Gold Trip was accompanied by Joseph O’Brien’s State of Rest, with both horses set to compete in the Cox Plate before Gold Trip potentially takes his place in the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

The two international horses have settled in to the Werribee International Horse Center (WIHC) where they will train over the coming weeks under the watchful eye of handlers, trainers and Racing Victoria veterinary staff.

Gold Trip is a French-bred horse who was formerly trained by Fabrice Chappet in France but will race this spring in the care of trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

The five-year-old is one of the best-credentialed Lexus Melbourne Cup nominees in recent years, having won a Group 2 and been placed in three Group 1 races in France.

He has been allocated 57kg in the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup and Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon said he had the record to prove he could run well in Australia’s greatest race.

“It’s great to hear Gold Trip has arrived safely and settled into the Werribee International Horse Centre,” Mr Jordan said.

“Gold Trip is an exceptionally talented horse. He was fourth in one of the world’s best races, the Group 1  Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and comes to Melbourne after only being beaten a length in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in July.

“Ciaron Maher and David Eustace used a similar blueprint last year when they brought Sir Dragonet out to Australia to win the Cox Plate before performing well in the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“We hope to see Gold Trip run well in the Cox Plate and progress to the two-miles at Flemington, which looks like it will suit him, on the first Tuesday in November.”

State of Rest could also compete during the Melbourne Cup Carnival if connections choose to continue his Victorian campaign in the $2 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the final day of Cup Week.

The second shipment of international arrivals, which includes leading Lexus Melbourne Cup hopefuls Spanish Mission, Away He Goes, Sir Lucan and Twilight Payment, will land on Saturday 9 October.

The Lexus Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday 2 November as part of the iconic Melbourne Cup Carnival which begins with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 30 October and also features Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 4 November and Mackinnon Stakes Day on Saturday 6 November.

All the action from the 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival can be seen live and free on Network 10 and 10 Play on demand.

Third declarations for the Lexus Melbourne Cup must be submitted by noon on Tuesday 12 October.