Caulfield Cup 2023 start pending for Gold Trip

The weather forecast will have a bearing on whether Gold Trip attempts to avenge his defeat last year’s Caulfield Cup.

Fine weather is forecast for the remainder of the week which is playing on the minds of trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace ahead of acceptances for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday.

Maher said the weather was one factor that was under consideration as to whether last year’s Caulfield Cup runner-up and Melbourne Cup winner will take his place on Saturday.

“The race being later in the day and the weather looks like it’s going to be pretty fine for the rest of the week, and it’s no secret he likes a bit of give in the track, so that will come into it,” Maher said.

Maher took Gold Trip and fellow Caulfield Cup contenders Right You Are and Duke De Sessa to Caulfield on Tuesday morning for a gallop on the course proper.

Gold Trip has ticked over nicely since his win in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7.

“He’s in really good order. The mile-and-a-half will be no problem,” Maher said.

“He’s got a little bit more weight than last year and maybe it’s a little bit stronger field, but he’s certainly in good order.”

If Gold Trip misses a start on Saturday, it will not rule the seven-year-old out from a second shot at the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7.

The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28 also remains on the radar, with Maher saying Gold Trip could run in all three features, as he did 12 months ago.

“I think he runs in the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup, it’s just whether he runs in the Caulfield Cup,” Maher said.

“He’s about the same weight as he was last year, and he’s had the grounding for the Melbourne Cup.

“If you look at a horse like Future History, he has had the grounding. I know Gold Trip, he was only second-up (last start), but he has been in work a long time. He’s basically had no time off.

“The ease of his win last start makes you think he is a legitimate Cox Plate horse, whereas last year he may not have been.

“Last year he did the three and ran well, but last start he went into that race relatively fresh and showed a good turn of foot.”

Ben Melham and Hugh Bowman are on standby to partner Gold Trip show he start on Saturday while Michael Dee has been booked for Right You Are with John Allen to ride Duke De Sessa.

Maher is expecting the 2400m to both Right You Are and Duke De Sessa.

“He didn’t get the ideal run last start,” Maher said of Right You Are’s last start 11th behind Gold Trip.

“Draw soft, sit in the pocket and he’ll improve out to the mile-and-a-half.

“Duke De Sessa, his was a pretty good run last start, and I think he’ll improve off that.

“He’ll probably need to draw soft as well.”

Gold Trip is currently the $6 second favourite in Caulfield Cup markets behind Soulcombe who heads the market at $5.50 with most online bookmakers in Australia.

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