Melbourne is a possible destination in November for Trip To Paris after his victory in Thursday’s Group I Ascot Gold Cup (2 1/2 miles).
Trainer Ed Dunlop was concerned the handicap rating of the four-year-old will now “go through the roof” but said the Melbourne Cup will be considered after Trip To Paris took advantage of a rails run in the home straight to come home clear.
Given a brilliant ground saving ride from Grand National winning jockey Graham Lee, Trip To Paris burst clear one furlong out and stayed on strongly to defeat Kingfisher (5/1) by 1 1/4-lengths, the runner-up looking unlucky after being baulked for over a furlong before getting clear.
Forgotten Rules (5/2 fav.) finished a neck behind third after striking the front two furlongs out with Australian-owned Tac de Boistron beaten before the home turn and finishing tailed off.
Supplemented into the race at a cost of £35,000 following his Chester Cup win, Trip To Paris was running at the meeting for the second year.
“He ran in the King George (V Handicap) last year in blinkers. We gelded him afterwards and it’s been the making of him,” Dunlop said of the son of Champs Elysees.
“He has a turn of foot for a stayer, he’s won over a mile and a half.
“He’s a very good horse now. He’s won a Chester Cup and a Gold Cup, which is a pretty big deal.”
Dunlop has finished second three time in the Melbourne Cup with Red Cadeaux and said the race could now be on the agenda for Trip To Paris.
“He’ll probably be badly handicapped now. Various Australians said I shouldn’t be running him in case he went up in the handicap, but he can quicken and he goes in any ground,
“He’s proven today he’s a very good horse and it will be considered.”