While Zaaki is generating all the hype ahead of the 2021 Cox Plate, Ciaron Maher is hoping that his stable can go back-to-back in the Moonee Valley feature with Gold Trip.
The five-year-old son of Outstrip has only one win from 10 starts in France, but he has placed three times at Group 1 level and finished fourth – ahead of both Enable and Stradivarius – in the 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Gold Trip @Harasdegrandcam @InfoArqana @ChantillyBstock @ChappetRacing @pasquito60 finishes best to win the Gr2 Prix Greffulhe @LyonHippodromes
SW3 for Outstrip (Exceed And Excel) @DarleyEurope Dam a Dubai Destination half-sister to Gr3 Sarkiyla. pic.twitter.com/eFA7BYLoZ1
— Pedigree Update (@pedigreeupdate) June 6, 2020
Gold trip is currently quarantining at Werribee, and Maher spoke with Racing.com about his horse’s chances heading to the 101st running of the Cox Plate.
“He’s an impressive horse to look at and he’s over the first hurdle, so you know he’s travelled well,” he said.
“He was out just for a light stretch of the legs today … so far, so good.”
Maher sent Sir Dragonet into the 2020 Cox Plate fresh off a spell and came away with the spoils, and he is hoping to do the same with Gold Trip.
“They’re different sorts of horses,” he said.
“But carrying the same sort of quality form across from Europe – obviously run in some very big races.
“He’s a quality horse, so we’re en route.
“I haven’t actually been in quarantine to see him yet, I’ve only seen him work over the fence.
“He’s a very exciting horse.”
Gold Trip holds nominations for both the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup, where he is $10 and $21 respectively with online bookmakers in futures markets.
Sir Dragonet will race in Saturday’s Turnbull Stakes at Flemington, where he is set to once again clash with defending champion Verry Elleegant and Caulfield Cup favourite Incentivise.
The 2020 Cox Plate winner ran a terrific third behind Incentivise and Epsom Handicap favourite Mo’unga in the Makybe Diva Stakes when first-up, reversing his form from a disappointing campaign in Queensland over the Winter Carnival.
Check out this incredible all the way win for Incentivise in the 2021 Makybe Diva Stakes! What a horse – 10 starts for 7 wins #QLDer #QLDisRacing pic.twitter.com/GMlko4VWpB
— RaceQ (@RaceQLD) September 11, 2021
Sir Dragonet is currently $7 in the Turnbull Stakes, which is likely to be run on his favoured wet track, while he is a $15 chance to defend his title in the Cox Plate.