Melbourne Cup jockey Patrick Moloney has copped a substantial punishment over his ride on runner-up Emissary at Flemington on Tuesday.
Emissary finished second behind top-weight Gold Trip, which delivered jockey Mark Zahra and co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace their first ever Melbourne Cup triumphs.
TURNAROUND: Melbourne Cup winner Mark Zahra's redemption
However, Moloney was judged by racing stewards to be guilty of careless riding during a tussle with Duais around the 600-metre mark.
Moloney pleaded guilty to the charges after replays showed he shifted to run clear of Duais, causing issues for a number of other horses.
Emissary's move saw Duais squeezed onto Numerian, which in turn collided with Young Werther, causing the three horses to be significantly checked leading up to the final straight.
2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare was also caught up behind the trio of horses, stalling its momentum before the finish line.
Moloney admitted that he did shift ground, but argued that an "overreaction" from Duais had contributed to the incident.
Racing Victoria stewards disagreed and handed the jockey a 15-meeting suspension, as well as fining with $20,000 - which works out to be more than a third of the $55,000 Moloney collected for his runner-up finish on Emissary.
Moloney - whose careless riding incident was deemed high range - will be free to return at Mornington on November 17, with his riding suspension to begin after Flemington's VRC Oaks meeting on Thursday.
Fellow jockey Daniel Moor - who rode sixth-placed Daqiansweet Junior - was also banned for seven meetings and fined $2000 for excessive use of his whip.
Moor was found to have used the whip nine times before the 100-metre mark, which is four more than jockeys are permitted.
Gold Trip stuns favourites for famous Cup win
Cup winner Gold Trip made light of his 57.5kg top weight, revelling in the soft ground to provide his jockey and trainers with a Melbourne Cup breakthrough.
Maher and Eustace are renowned for employing a sports science slant to their training methods, using data and technology to fine-tune a team of thoroughbreds that is spread across multiple Victorian stables and a satellite operation in Sydney.
The training partnership had five runners in the race.
"They're the best trainers of stayers," winning jockey Zahra said.
"That's one thing I had confidence in - their training. Because I was quite vocal I didn't think he'd get the distance."
In the end, Gold Trip's victory was built more on home-straight courage than any analytics.
Of all the Melbourne Cup runners, none has been as busy during the spring as Gold Trip.
It is rare for the modern-day thoroughbred to contest the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in one campaign.
But in a throwback to another era, Gold Trip went agonisingly close to winning the Caulfield Cup before taking his place against the elite in the Cox Plate and finishing unplaced.
"This horse is quite dicey and he's done a fantastic job. And to run in three of the big ones and have him present in the Cup like that was fantastic," Maher said.
Gold Trip delivered for only the second win of his career and his first in Australia.
Zahra settled Gold Trip among the tailenders in the hope he could ambush his rivals late in the race.
The import gradually improved deep on the track with cover from the 600m and he was ready to issue a challenge at the 400m.
"I literally thought I'm a bit far back here but my one plan was not to be too close because I thought if I used fuel early I'd be weak late," Zahra said.
"As they jammed up, I got to travel up and up and I thought 'I'm still travelling so good here'."
Gold Trip, a $21 chance, dashed past the UK raider and favourite Deauville Legend ($4.40) only to have Emissary ($26) emerge as a threat from the ruck.
When the race got serious over the final 200m, it was Gold Trip who surged again for a decisive two-length win.
Emissary held on for second ahead of the fast-finishing High Emocean ($41) who got past Deauville Legend to take the minor placing - a further 1-1/4 lengths further back.
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