Gold Trip heads Melbourne Cup 2023 weights

Gold Trip will need to achieve a feat that has occurred only once previously if he is to go into the record books as a two-time Melbourne Cup winner.

Since the metric system was introduced into handicapping in Australian racing in 1972, Think Big, in 1975, is the only horse to win the Melbourne Cup with 58.5kg.

That is the weight the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained stayer will be asked to carry if he runs in the Cup at Flemington over 3200m on November 7.

Racing Victoria Head of Handicapping David Hegan released the weights for the Melbourne Cup 2023 and Caulfield Cup 2023, on October 21, on Tuesday announcing a 1kg rise in the weight Gold Trip carried to a famous win in last year’s Melbourne Cup.

But Hegan said the penalty was in fact 2kg, as weights were raised across the board and Gold Trip’s weight last year when they were released was 56.5kg.

Hegan, releasing the weights for the Cups this year for the first time, said he had looked at the history of the Melbourne Cup when deciding on the weight for Gold Trip.

He said since the metric system was introduced, the lowest rehandicap given to a Cup winner carrying more than 55kg had been 2.5kg.

“From a handicapping perspective we look at the true weight a horse would have carried and then measure him from there,” Hegan said.

“Ten times the winner has been given a 2.5kg penalty but this time, Gold Trip will be going from 56.5 kg to 58.5kg, a slight diversion from where we have been previous, but that takes into account we have had 73 starters across the Cups in the metric years that have carried 58 kilos or more.

“And we’ve only had four horses do it, in the Caulfield Cup being Northerly, Dunaden and Ming Dynasty and the only horse in the Melbourne Cup is Think Big.

“Any time you handicap a race it is always a challenge and when you do the Cups, it’s as tough as it gets.

“You’re always trying to find that right balance between horses that have run in the Cup the previous year, local domestic stayers that emerge throughout the season, the three-year-olds that are turning four and then trying to factor in the internationals.”

The Mike Moroney-trained Alenquer and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Broome were given equal second topweight of 56.5kg ahead of Arapaho, El Bodegon, Without A Fight and Spanish Mission on 55.5kg.

Other notable entries were Francesco Guardi (54kg), Soulcombe (53.5kg), Goldman (52), Lunar Flare (51.5kg) while last year’s runner-up Emissary has 52kg this year, a rise of 0.5kg, or 1.5kg from his original weight of last year.

About RS NewsWire

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