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Without A Fight wins 2023 Melbourne Cup

Without A Fight
Without A Fight (IRE), ridden by Mark Zahra, wins the 2023 Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse. (Photo: Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Without A Fight confirmed his status as the best stayer in Australia with a superb run to win the 2023 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

With the victory, the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained gelding became the first horse since Ethereal in 2001 to win the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup double.

It also marked a second consecutive Melbourne Cup win for jockey Mark Zahra, who produced a stellar ride as Without A Fight weaved through the pack and burned off his rivals in the home straight.

Race favourite Vauban and past Cup winner Vow And Declare loomed large as the field turned for home, but they ran out of steam and finished well back.

Soulcombe produced an eye-catching run to finish second, while Sheraz defied triple-figure odds to round out the trifecta.

For Zahra, the first jockey since Harry White in 1978-79 to win back-to-back Melbourne Cups on different horses, the result more than justified his decision to jump off last year’s winner, Gold Trip.

“I thought the biggest opposition was my horse himself,” he said after the race.

“Going to the gates, he was relaxed – I thought this was a good sign.

“I was getting to the front early but I just thought there was no way anything was coming from behind me and boom, away we went.

“To change horses, to get a bit of flack about my choice, and for it to pay off is justified.”

Melbourne Cup 2023 results

Place No. Colours Horse Trainer Jockey Win Place
1st 3 Silks
Without A Fight
Anthony & Sam Freedman
Mark Zahra
$9 $3.30
2nd 6 Silks
Chris Waller
Joao Moreira
3rd 14 Silks
Chris Waller
Beau Mertens
4th 11 Silks
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Kerrin McEvoy
Quinella $43.20 Trifecta $10,668.10 First Four $332,291.10

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