Mark Zahra has a soft spot for Gold Trip, the horse that provided the jockey with the first of his back-to-back Melbourne Cup victories. 

Zahra answered a call from trainer Ciaron Maher to give Gold Trip a gallop at Caulfield on Tuesday as part of the entire's build-up to a racetrack return. 

Gold Trip has not raced since finishing 17th when pulling up lame in last year's Melbourne Cup, a race won by Zahra on the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Without A Fight. 

Zahra does not expect Gold Trip to be ready for a return to racing until next month, with Maher intending to start the seven-year-old in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 30. 

"He feels good," Zahra said. 

"He was a bit lazy, like he always is.His stablemate (Cadre Du Noir) kicked for home on the bend, and I was going to have to do too much to join him, so I just let him have a nice cruisy gallop. 

"I always find early in his prep, he's pretty laid back, but as the prep goes on, he becomes more interested and hopefully that's the case again." 

"They usually throw the blinkers on him at trackwork, they just let him have a cruise around." 

Zahra remains confident Gold Trip can return to his best form. 

Gold Trip has been plagued by feet issues throughout his time in Australia, but Zahra said the entire's feet were in good order when he took to the track on Tuesday. 

"I think the main thing with him is his feet and they seemed to look good, and his action seems fine," Zahra said. 

"Every prep seems to get harder as they get older, but I think he is going to be alright. 

"Hopefully we get a bit of rain. He'll probably end up in Sydney and if they get any rain up there, he'll be right in the mix." 

Zahra said he was unsure what program Maher had set Gold Trip but wouldn't be surprised if he kicks off next month. 

"I think he usually has three trials," Zahra said. 

"He's had one, so he's probably a couple away (before starting) and then next he'll be ready to go into something like the Australian Cup, I guess."