Cup winner going for Gold in Tancred

Gold Trip will attempt a feat last achieved by champion mare Makybe Diva when he tackles the Tancred Stakes.

Ciaron Maher is hoping the forecast for rain in Sydney eventuates as he prepares to back-up Gold Trip in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes at Rosehill. 

The Melbourne Cup winner looked sharp when he resumed with a sizzling second in the Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Sandown before a sound fifth to Dubai Honour in the Ranvet Stakes (2000m) last Saturday. 

That was on a firm track and with natural improvement, Maher can see Gold Trip being a force this weekend, particularly if he strikes his favoured rain-affected conditions. 

"We probably thought a bit more of him on Saturday, but he raced well," Maher said. 

"He was a little bit above himself before it. 

"I was hoping there would be a bit more rain about in Sydney, which is something you don't normally have to worry about at this time of year, but a shower of rain would definitely help him as well." 

Gold Trip will tackle Saturday's Tancred Stakes (2400m) on a seven-day back-up and is a horse proven to thrive on racing. 

In the spring, he was narrowly denied in the Caulfield Cup, came back in trip to be beaten less than three lengths by Anamoe in the Cox Plate then emerged triumphant in the Melbourne Cup, all within a 17-day period. 

Maher was mindful of that pattern when programming the horse's autumn and the Tancred Stakes has been a long-range target. 

"The plan was always to back-up into the Tancred," Maher said. 

"He had a good record when we tightened up his races in the spring." 

Gold Trip will be shooting to become the first horse since Makybe Diva in 2004-05 to win the Melbourne Cup and Tancred Stakes in the same season. 

A field of 14 will line up in Saturday's weight-for-age showpiece with Joseph O'Brien's Cleveland flying the flag for the internationals. 

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