Gold Trip assigned top weight for Melbourne, Caulfield Cups

Gold Trip, ridden by Mark Zahra, winning the 2022 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. (Picture: Scott Barbour/Racing Photos)

Racing Victoria’s Head of Handicapping, David Hegan, revealed on Tuesday that Gold Trip has been assigned 58.5kg for the 2023 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Hegan’s announcement means that the European import would carry 1kg more than what he lugged to victory in the Melbourne Cup and to second in the Caulfield Cup in 2022.

The Mike Moroney-trained Alenquer, who has not passed the ballot for the Caulfield Cup, is next in the weights with 56.5kg for both races, while Broome from the Aidan O’Brien barn – nominated only for the Melbourne Cup – has also been allocated 56.5kg.

“We have effectively lifted Gold Trip 2kg from his true weight last year, which is less than the penalty afforded other Melbourne Cup winners in recent times; however, we are mindful that it is 48 years since a horse has carried 58.5kg to victory in either Cup, so a significant challenge awaits,” said Hagan.

“Beyond Gold Trip, the story with this year’s entries for mine is the array of emerging talent in the mid-to-lower range of the scale, young horses and those promising plenty that can put their name up in lights in this year’s Cups but can’t be handicapped on potential.

“With the weights now assigned and the initial orders of entry confirmed, the ball is now in the court of the trainers to secure a start in either Cup and have their horses peaking on the day, and for jockeys to secure a mount in our two most iconic staying races.”

2023 Melbourne Cup weights recap

Three horses have already booked their spot in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup on November 7 with victories in ballot-exempt events.

Goldman (52kg), Lunar Flare (51.5kg) and Absurde (53kg) have all fared well at the weights for Australia’s most famous horse race.

Proven Group 1 performers Montefila (54.5kg), Duais (54kg), Arapaho (55.5kg) and Knights Order (54kg) are all destined to line up on the first Tuesday in November again, and all comfortably sit in the top 24 in the 2023 Melbourne Cup order of entry.

Up-and-coming stayers Kovalica (53.5kg), Sharp ‘N’ Smart (53.5kg), Major Beel (53kg) and Manzoice (53kg) will all be looking to add a Melbourne Cup to their respective derby victories.

In total, 82 horses have passed the first ballot clause as of September 19, with a further 48 needing to pass the first ballot clause prior to November 4, 2023.

2023 Caulfield Cup weights recap

All eyes were on Chris Waller’s stable when the weights dropped for the 2023 Caulfield Cup on Tuesday.

Race favourite Francesco Guardi (54kg) and Soulcombe (53.5kg) have both fared well at the weights, as has new stablemate Montefilia (54.5kg), as Waller chases a third win in the race since 2019.

Tatsuya Yoshioka’s six-year-old Breakup will carry 55kg in his quest to become the third Japanese horse to win the Caulfield Cup, following Mer De Glace (2019) and Admire Rakti (2014).

Right You Are (53kg) is currently the only horse guaranteed a start in the Caulfield Cup, courtesy of his tough win earlier this year in the Mornington Cup (2400m).

Two golden tickets will be up for grabs at Caulfield this Saturday, with the winners of both the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) offered a start in the Caulfield Cup.

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