September 25, 2023



Gold Trip won Australia’s famous Melbourne Cup as favourite Deauville Legend finished fourth.

Emissary was second and High Emocean fought back from last to claim third at Flemington.

Victory was the first in the race for Australian jockey Mark Zahra and trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

Zahra, unable to compete last year because of suspension, described the win as “a miracle”.

Deauville Legend was fourth, while the other British runner Without A Fight was 13th.

Zahra missed the ride on last year’s winner Verry Elleegant because of a Covid-19 breach that led to a three-month ban.

“This time last year I was in Byron Bay and I was getting told off for drinking too much,” said Zahra.

“I felt terrible and I was drinking my way out of it. [My wife] was saying, ‘Don’t drink too much’. I said, ‘What do you want me to do? My horse just won the Melbourne Cup.’

“It could have been my ride. Redemption day today. For today to come, it is just unbelievable.

“Mum used to give me the day off as a kid to watch this race so it’s absolutely surreal to win it.”

Joint trainer Eustace, who was born in Britain, is a son of Newmarket trainer James Eustace.

“I can’t believe it and I’m a bit overcome. It’s a dream come true and the pinnacle of our sport to win this race,” he said.

Tens of thousands of people braved the rain and cold as top weight Gold Trip made the decisive move with 300 metres remaining.

It was the first time since 2019 that the Melbourne Cup took place at full ticketing capacity. Attendance was restricted for the previous two races because of Covid rules.

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Known as “the race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup is worth A$8m (£4.5m) but also attracts demonstrations over the welfare of animals.

This year police said they were investigating after a person poured 100 litres of an “unknown substance” resembling oil on the track before the race.

The track was deemed safe after some remedial work, while a person describing themselves as a “problem gambler” later claimed responsibility.

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