Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip could be in for his best campaign, according to managing owner Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett after feedback from his trainers.
Lovett said the message they had from Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace was that Gold Trip was a lot sharper than he had previously been.
“He’s now had a full season of racing. He came into last season after a long break of 12 months, and it took him a while to get going,” Lovett said. “He’s not ring rusty now, he had 10,000 kilometres on the clock from his last preparation.
“We are thinking he’ll be competitive in whatever we run him in.”
Lovett also confirmed they had no plans to retire Gold Trip and they intended to defend their Melbourne Cup crown.
“He didn’t have a lot of time off. He had a few weeks at the beach without a saddle on,” he said. “If he’s in good form next spring, it’s the logical race for him.
“He did a good piece of work the other day and he’s right on track.”
Gold Trip jumped out at Cranbourne on Monday morning, but was not asked to do much on his return.
“He’ll trial again next week. He’s just getting back into the swing of things. Mark (Zahra) was happy enough. He was a little bit fresh,” Maher said.
Lovett said they weren’t worried about firm tracks with Gold Trip, as he showed when he ran third in the Turnbull Stakes that he could handle it.
Lovett said Gold Trip was a 50-50 chance to start in the $5 million All-Star Mile (1600 metres) at The Valley on March 18.
Lovett said it was a strong possibility Gold Trip would start in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600 metres) at Randwick on February 25.
“He probably has to kick off over a mile and it’s the Chipping Norton or the All-Star Mile which fit that bill,” he said.
“Whether the All-Star Mile fits in with the Tancred Stakes, which is the next week after, it I’m not too sure.”
WATCH: Gold Trip’s Melbourne Cup win
The Australian Bloodstock team is hoping Nugget can get into the All-Star Mile.
Nugget finished second at his Australian debut to Detonator Jack at Flemington on November 1 over 1400m, before winning his next three starts at Kembla Grange, Randwick and then the Lord Stakes at Sandown.
“The boys are very happy with him,” Lovett said. “He’ll go into the Orr Stakes and then the Futurity, and if he’s shown up in them he should get into the All-Star Mile.
“We always thought he’d be a prospective Group 1 horse and he hasn’t disappointed since he arrived.”
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