Gold Trip (Fr)  provided jockey Mark Zahra and trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace with their first Melbourne Cup (G1) on November 1 in Victoria, AUS.. The 5-year-old horse by Outstrip (GB) – Sarvana (Fr) by Dubai Destination became the first top weight to win the 2 mile race at Flemington since Makybe Diva in 2005.

Gold Trip’s sire Outstrip won the 2013 Breeders’ Cp Juvenile Turf (G1).

Owned by a host of shareholders – Ecurie Jean-Louis Bouchard, Australian Bloodstock, J Woodbridge, Whitegate Pastoral, Roth Brogan Syndicate, Gold Trip, Cup Racing Crew Syndicate, S Pellegrino, B Taylor, M Belford, J Garvey, N Greenhalgh, Mrs M Greenhalgh, C Madden, Mystery Downs, C Cook, B Nally, Werrett Bloodstock, L Caminiti & J Simmons – Gold Trip had won just a single race coming into the Melbourne Cup, the Prix Gruffuhle at Lyon Parilly in June 2020.

The horse finished fourth in the 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to Sottsass.

Following three races in 2021 in France, the horse was transferred to his Aussie connections who watched him finish a troubled second in the Caulfield Cup (G1) to Duston. On Oct. 22, Gold Trip finished ninth in the Cox Plate (G1). The Melbourne Cup was his third race in 17 day.

Sitting back in the field in the Melbourne Cup with just four rivals behind him, Gold Trip made his way past horses through the last half mile before he raced to a two-length win at 9 to 1 from Emissary ($26) with Gold Emocean ($41) a further 1-¼ lengths away third.

Some 73,000 took in the race.

Zahra, who missed his chance to ride Veery Elegant in the 2021 ‘Cup due to a COVID-19 breach (she won) was questioning whether Gold Trip would run the journey, however Maher and Eustace did give the jockey a lot of confidence.

“They’re the best trainer of stayers,” Zahra said. “That’s one thing I had confidence in, that they trained it.

“I was actually quite vocal that I didn’t think he’d get the trip and thankfully my good mate Jamie Spencer didn’t have much luck on him. It was probably just the perfect lead-up run.”

Gold Trip was one of five runners for the stable in Tuesday’s race – with stablemate High Emocean finishing third – and Maher said the success had not yet sunk in.

“Everyone’s had a lot to do with this horse,” Maher said. “(Farrier) John Bunting, he’s had this horse in very good order all the way along.

“He’s quite dicey, this horse, and he’s done a fantastic job. He’s a great mate, great bloke and he’s very good at what he does.

“Dave and my brother (Declan), everyone, it’s just huge. Dave and I are lucky enough to stand up here and most of our staff are here today along with friends and family.

“It’s just fantastic.”

Eustace said since arriving in Australia in 2014 he did not imagine ever winning the race.

“Obviously you know the race, that it exists, a bit later in my life,” Eustace said. “But ever since I’ve been here this is the race you want to be contesting and just getting the chance to do that, to win it, is quite extraordinary.”

Gold Trip is now 2 for 16 in his career and collected the bulk of the $5 million Melbourne Cup purse.

-with files from Victoria Racing Club