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'I'm still pinching myself': Titans legend's incredible connection to 2023 Melbourne Cup

Titans legend Anthony Don is still pinching himself that he'll be attending this year's Melbourne Cup as a co-owner.

The club's most prolific try-scorer and a group of his mates recently used their punter's club bonus to buy shares in European-import Kalapour, which he admits they never had high hopes for... but that all changed when it crossed the line first in the Archer Stakes on Derby Day, claiming the last spot in the race that stops the nation.

Continuously kept busy in retirement as a coach at Palm Beach Currumbin and a Titans and TopSport ambassador, it was never in his wildest dreams that he'd be off to represent the Gold Coast in the race that stops the nation, quickly clearing his calendar to be down at Flemington to cheer on the Kris Lees-trained Gelding.

"I'm still pinching myself that we're off to the great race," Don told ahead of boarding a flight to Melbourne.

"After buying Kalapour with a few mates who are in our punter's club, it's been a great thrill because we never expected it to get this far.

"We might only have a small percentage... but it's unbelievable to think we own a horse racing in the Melbourne Cup."

Don entertaining guests in the TopSport Lounge at Cbus Super Stadium.
Don entertaining guests in the TopSport Lounge at Cbus Super Stadium. ©Titans Media

Known as the GOAT among the Titans Legion having broken the Coast's points-scoring record with 85 tries across his 152 games for the club, Don knows Kalapour is in with a good chance given the field is always wide open for the great race.

"You've got to be in it to win it, so we're halfway there," he said.

"That's been the storyline of my career... I got the opportunity with the Titans and took it with both hands, and I guess it's the same with our chances in the Cup.

"We've always had horses with Kris Lees... we went to uni together in Newcastle and he's a great guy and a really good trainer. I have full faith that he'll prep Kalapour for the occasion and you never know what can happen... we have a one in 24 shot just like everyone else running.

"I may not have been lucky enough to win a premiership in my career... but I suppose I can settle with a Melbourne Cup instead."

The race that stops the nation jumps at 2pm (QLD) on Tuesday, November 7.

Donny's top five facts about the Melbourne Cup 

  1. Age plays a big factor in winning the Melbourne Cup. No 3YO has won the Cup since 1941, with four or five-year old’s winning over half the races since the Cup was first run in 1861 so it would be worth looking at runners in this age bracket.
  2. Only four horses have recorded back-to-back victories in the Cup, the inaugural winner Archer in 1891 and 1862, Rain Lover, Think Big and the great Makybe Diva. Can Gold Trip make it five after the impressive win in 2022?
  3. Jockeys play an important role in the cup with Bobbie Lewis and Harry White both winning four Cups. We have two current jockeys, Damien Oliver and Kerrin McEvoy chasing them down on three wins a piece... can either of these two join the history books in 2023?
  4. Securing the top price is vital in the Cup – TopSport have relaunched Best of the Best for the spring for all Group 1 races. If you want to receive Best of the official Bookies price and best of the tote price, click here secure the top price in the market.
  5. Have fun! Pick your own runner, but if you want to let the experts do the job – check out TopSport's Titanic special curated by the Titans legend and racing gun.

Donny is backing Ashrun (11) and his horse Kalapour (23) to finish in the top 10 this Melbourne Cup, with TopSport offering a special price of $10. BET NOW!*

*Terms and Conditions apply. Max bet $20. Please gamble responsibly.

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.