1 Nov 2022

Gold Trip wins 162nd edition of the Melbourne Cup

5:19 pm on 1 November 2022
Gold Trip (FR) ridden by Mark Zahra wins the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on November 01, 2022 in Flemington, Australia.

Gold Trip (FR) ridden by Mark Zahra wins the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse. Photo: Getty Images / Pat Scala

French horse Gold Trip has won the 162nd edition of the A$8 million (NZ$8.8m) Melbourne Cup as crowds headed back to a rainswept Flemington after years of Covid-19 disruptions.

Hail and heavy rain had made the track soft for the 3200m race, dubbed the "race which stops a nation" that has been held on the first Tuesday of November since 1876.

It was also marred by vandals, later priased by climate activists, who poured black oily sludge onto the Racecourse before the gates even opened.

The six-year-old Gold Trip, carrying a heavy weight of 57.5kg, managed to hold off challengers to take the Cup.

Gold Trip took the lead with more than 300m to go but Emissary challenged in the last 150m, until Trip pulled one final effort to win.

Gold Trip's jockey Mark Zahra said he remembered when his mother used to give him a day off to watch the race as a kid.

Now, straight after winning it, he told Channel 10 he had no words on how he felt.

"I feel like crying. It's unbelievable. What a day," Zahra said.

"He's a horse that when you go, you don't give him a chance to think about it. I was hoping no-one would come near him. It's just elation when I crossed the line."

Co-trainer David Eustace told reporters winning the Cup was the pinnacle of racing.

"I can't believe it. Yeah, it's obviously a dream that we all want to achieve," Eustace said.

"It's the pinnacle for our sport. To do it with Ciaron (trainer Maher), I'm so grateful to be training with him. And it's just a great honour to be doing that with all these good horses and an amazing team of staff that we have.

"It's a full credit to them to get five here (to the Cup). This horse was so unlucky in the Caulfield Cup and so gutted when he got beat."

But he did admit that in the final stretch he wondered if Gold Trip would get beaten again.

Co-trainer Ciaron Maher told reporters that he and Zahra had concocted a plan for Gold Trip for the Cup.

"We just wanted to wait, wait, wait and we know he's got that good turn of foot. He was fantastic."

He described Gold Trip as fast but "a bit dicey" and said Zahra had managed a perfect race.

Favourite Deanville Legend finished outside the top three with Emissary second and High Emocean third.

Highly fancied runner Realm of Flowers was fifth.

The rain had seen support for Deauville Legend shift towards Realm of Flowers, which was carrying on the smallest weights in the field.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 01: The 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup is on display ahead of race seven, the Lexus Melbourne Cup during 2022 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 01, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Cup. Photo: Quinn Rooney

Crowds return

Racegoers braved the elements as organisers worked to try get the crowds and revenue back after Covid-19.

Last year's race run in baking sunshine had a capped crowd of less than 10,000 at Flemington, while the 2020 edition was closed to fans due to health protocols. In 2019, the last race before Covid-19, more than 80,000 people turned up.

Persistent rain has hit Victoria over the last three weeks with floods causing evacuations in rural parts of the state as well as the cancellation of games at the T20 Cricket World Cup and one of the coldest Cup Days in decades.

Heavy rain and storms lashed the Flemington Racecourse with the temperature barely reaching 11C for the race.

The rain sent punters racing for shelter, interrupted live tv coverage and saw bookmakers shifting their betting away from favourite Deauville Legend and towards Realm of Flowers which was running with the lightest weight in the field, at just 50kg.

Oily sludge

Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion Victoria has praised the pouring of 1000 litres of sludge across Flemington Racecourse.

Racing Victoria was forced to repair the track after damage was discovered at the 1500m mark.

Stewards then deemed it safe to ride.

Extinction Rebellion shared footage of someone pouring what it called "1000 litres of oily sludge".

In a tweet it said it has been contacted by "friends" who had done it and it said it fully endorsed their actions.


There are only 24 spots in the Cup each year - though two horses were scratched in the lead-up.

Point Nepean had been scratched on Monday morning with Lunar Flare failing a vet check early today.

The race was notable for the few number of international horses running.

At its peak in 2018, 11 of the 24 races were internationals but after after a number broke down in the Cup, including a death in 2020, new rules were introduced leading to fewer overseas entries.

This year there were only a handful of international horses, though they included favourite Deauville Legend.