2023 Caulfield Cup Field Update: No. 7 Nonconformist (19) has been scratched after failing his final vet check. First emergency No. 19 United Nations gets a start from out wide in barrier 17.

Jockey Ben Melham has picked up the ride on reigning Melbourne Cup champion Gold Trip when the galloper looks to go one better than his second last year in the Group 1 $5 million Carlton Draught Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday.

Gold Trip | Photo: Steve Hart | Horseracing.com.au

Reigning Melbourne Cup hero Gold Trip is a key chance in 2023 Caulfield Cup betting this weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

The French-bred son of Outstrip was narrow runner-up from barrier 11 to Durston in the 2022 Caulfield Cup results, and has come up with the same gate in this year’s field.

The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained seven-year-old will carry the 58.5kg top-weight, which Melham said he deserves, is now favourite in betting at Ladbrokes to win this on way to his title defence in the Group 1 $8.41 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday November 7.

“I’ve only just found out I’m riding the horse,” Melham told  Racing.com after the official 2023 Caulfield Cup barrier draw on Wednesday evening.

“I think the draws are somewhat irrelevant with him with his racing pattern, but my initial thought is I’m really happy to be riding the horse.

“Couldn’t be happier with his two runs this time in, it all seems to be going better than ever.

“Hopefully he can go one better (than last year). He seems to be going better this year, which is hard to imagine.

“He’s a find his feet horse and he finds a rhythm. He’s got the weight, but he’s earned it, and I can’t see him running badly.”

Gold Trip was last seen returning to winning form with an impressive upset at Flemington in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000) with improvement pending as he gets out to the mile-and-a-half on Saturday.

Second best in the updated Caulfield Cup betting markets this spring is one-time favourite Soulcombe with the son of Frankel looking to hand trainer Chris Waller with his third win in four years.

Waller has prepared recently Caulfield Cup winners Verry Elleegant (2020) and Durston (2022) and saddles-up three in this year’s field led by Soulcombe.

The top elect jumps from the gun barrier six draw, which produced Durston last year, and has seen three Caulfield Cup winners start from there since 2008.

Waller’s other runners are last start Group 2 $2 million Hill Stakes winning mare Montefilia (barrier nine) who ran fourth last year and Francesco Guardi (barrier 15).

Barrier 1 was drawn by one of the five international 2023 Caulfield Cup contenders with the Joseph O’Brien-trained Valliant King to jump from the inside alley with Jamie Kah aboard on the 50kg light-weight.

O’Brien also saddles-up Okita Soushi to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy from gate 12.

Nonconformist drew the outside alley (barrier 19 into 18) which has produced two recent champions in Incentivise (2021) and  Dunaden (2012).

The only Caulfield Cup emergency, United Nations, drew barrier 17.

The other overseas’ raiders in the mix are multiple Group 1 place-getter West Wind Blows ($6) for Simon & Ed Crisford who Jamie Spencer will ride from barrier two and Japanese galloper Breakup ($9) in gate five for jockey Damian Lane.

The 2023 Caulfield Cup will run as Caulfield Race 9 at 5:15pm (AEDT) on Saturday’s 10-race card in Melbourne.

2023 Caulfield Cup Field & Barriers 

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 91x2570x41 GOLD TRIP (FR) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Ben Melham 11 58.5kg 122
2 11x20x11x6 WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE) Anthony & Sam Freedman Mark Zahra 7 55.5kg 115
3 2x110x340x BREAKUP (JPN) Tatsuya Yoshioka Damian Lane 5 55kg 114
4 x5229x8631 MONTEFILIA Chris Waller Blake Shinn (late alt) 9 54.5kg 112
5 232821×057 FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE) Chris Waller James McDonald 15 54kg 112
6 613×312322 WEST WIND BLOWS (IRE) Simon & Ed Crisford Jamie Spencer 2 54kg 115
7 x18402x074 NONCONFORMIST Grahame Begg Harry Coffey 19 53.5kg 113
8 x1x682x143 SOULCOMBE (GB) Chris Waller Craig Williams 6 53.5kg 115
9 2x131x8x06 DUKE DE SESSA (IRE) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace John Allen 14 53kg 110
10 223180×572 HOO YA MAL (GB) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 8 53kg 111
11 111121×250 RIGHT YOU ARE Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Michael Dee 13 53kg 114
12 12x530x950 EMISSARY (GB) Michael Moroney Jye McNeil 4 52kg 108
13 31x111x960 GOLDMAN (NZ) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Ms Linda Meech 18 52kg 108
14 00x11x513x OKITA SOUSHI (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Kerrin McEvoy 12 51.5kg 109
15 x641127x89 FAME Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman Craig Newitt 16 51kg 111
16 x531523267 BOIS D’ARGENT (GB) Annabel Neasham Ms Winona Costin 3 50.5kg 107
17 33×6523322 SPIRIT RIDGE (GB) Annabel Neasham Dean Yendall 10 50.5kg 113
18 34×21225 VALIANT KING (GB) Joseph O’Brien Ms Jamie Kah 1 50kg 109
19e 7x41x95232 UNITED NATIONS (IRE) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Ms Carleen Hefel (a) 17 50kg 97

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.