Gold Trip has defied the odds to win the 2022 Melbourne Cup, leaving plenty of punters red-faced.
The six-year-old horse did it the hard way, taking the lead with more than 300m to run before Emissary threatened to mount a comeback with 150m to go.
But the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained horse showed its class by finding one final effort at the finish line to win by 1.5 lengths.
The connections of Gold Trip are celebrating a payday of more than $4 million.
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The result left plenty of expert pundits with egg on their faces as the mighty horse saluted first across the post.
James Lamb from punters.com.au made a similar prediction ahead of the Melbourne Cup, citing Gold Trip’s weight as cause for concern.
“He’s unproven beyond 2400m and has had a taxing preparation off a very long break,” Lamb wrote.
“Very few horses win the Cup with more than 57kg, with Makybe Diva the last to do it with 58kg in 2005.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Hawkins on Betfair predicted that Gold Trip would finish seventh.
“The big query with him is the two miles, but if he sees out the trip, he’s going to be a major player even with plenty of weight,” Hawkins wrote.
“While he might be on empty over the final 200m, class will carry him a long way. He is unlikely to be too far away and he may be worth a bet in the Top 10 market, depending on what price he comes up.”
However, there were a handful of punters who nailed their predictions, including David Hocking from Punters.com.auwho claimed Gold Trip would emerge the victor.
“Think his class is going to carry him a long way here – and it’ll need to given he’s out to 3200m for the first time and has been lumped with a hefty 57.5kg impost,” he wrote.
“But one thing we do know is that he’s found form after a runner-up finish in the Caulfield Cup and then a complete forgive run in the Cox Plate where nothing went right. He’s had a good grounding for his first crack at two miles and doesn’t mind it soft underfoot. Just needs slot in and relax in the run.”
And hats off to Andrew Wu and Michael Manley from The Age, who both predicted that Gold Trip would cross the finish line first on Tuesday afternoon.
“In a Cup lacking depth, Gold Trip’s class, as seen in 2020 Arc de Triomphe fourth, will go a long way,” Manley wrote.
“In form and gets preferred wet ground. Deauville Legend has form around Cox Plate placegetter.”
Winning jockey Mark Zahra said the final moments of the race were nerve-wracking.
“(I was thinking) just piss off, no one come near me,” he said.
“I can’t. I feel like crying. It’s unbelievable. What a day. He’s a horse that when you go, you don’t give him a chance to think about it.
“It’s just elation when I crossed the line. What an amazing feeling.”
He continued: “The last 50m I was thinking I’m going to win this. It just went forever the last bit. And I still can’t believe it. Melbourne Cup, it’s unbelievable.”
Eustace was visibly shaking when interviewed after the race.
“I can’t believe it, obviously a bit overcome,” he said.
Yeah, it’s obviously a dream that we all want to achieve.”
Story Credit: news.com.au