Without A Fight reigned supreme at the 2023 Melbourne Cup
The ‘race that stops a nation’ delivered once more, with Without A Fight coming out on top in the 2023 Melbourne Cup
- The annual contest at Flemington was another barnstormer in 2023.
- 7-year-old Without A Fight took advantage of a good draw to cross the line in first.
- Without A Fight the first horse in 22 years to do the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup double.
- The stunning performance saw Without A Fight finish well clear of Soulcombe in 2nd and Sheraz in 3rd.
The 2023 Melbourne Cup was always going to get things moving with the biggest online betting sites and once again, the action at Flemington delivered.
Once all the conjecture and speculation had ended, it was Without A Fight that proved to be far too sharp for its rivals, winning comfortably, to clinch the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double.
Heading into the 2023 Melbourne Cup, there was a feeling amongst international and Aussie bookmakers that it was set to be one of the most open affairs in recent times.
2022 champion Gold Trip was thought to be in the mix, with Willie Mullins trained Vauban established as the early favourite for the race in the buildup.
However, once the starting gun sounded, it was all about Without A Fight, who proved its worth as one of the best horses both in Australia and internationally in 2023.
Fight over before it started
Any Melbourne Cup generates plenty of betting interest, both in Australia and abroad, with the 2023 incarnation of the race being no different.
However, for connections, the performance of Without A Fight was spell binding, looking to have pace in reserve throughout and timing the run to perfection under the stewardship of Mark Zahra.
Finding its feet early on, the 7-year-old simply had too much for the rest of the field, streaking away inside the final couple of furlongs to win by two and a quarter lengths.
Whilst the Caulfield Cup triumph certainly caught the eye, backing it up with a Melbourne Cup has etched Without A Fight into racing folklore and it looks to have a very bright future ahead of it.
In the long and rich history of both the Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup, only 11 horses have managed to win both races in the same season.
That number increased to 12 as a result of Without A Fight’s Flemington triumph, becoming the first horse to achieve the feat since Ethereal back in 2001.
It wasn’t the only double on a historic day at Flemington though, as jockey Mark Zahra managed to record his second successive Melbourne Cup triumph.
Having won on board Golf Trip in 2022, Zahra’s credentials in this race have long been unquestioned and he expertly pushed Without A Fight into a contention, with the Irish speedster doing the rest.
What might have been
As with any big race, whilst one horse swans off into the limelight, the rest of the field are left licking their wounds and preparing for the next big contest.
Willie Mullins has an astonishing racing record worldwide and his great hope Vauban was expected to tear up the field here at Flemington.
It wasn’t to be in 2023 but Vauban and Mullins will go away and begin to prepare for the chaotic National Hunt season that has just kicked off in the UK.
Elsewhere, it was a successful day for trainer Chris Waller, who completed the podium places with Soulcombe and Sheraz, two horses that also look to have plenty in reserve for future contests.
It was the final Melbourne Cup outing for two legendary jockeys too, with Damien Oliver and Michelle Payne saddling their final rides in the race, which promises to capture the hearts and minds of the nation again in 2024.
The 2023 Melbourne Cup delivered once more, with Without A Fight getting the job done for father and son training duo Anthony and Sam Freedman.
Having won the Caulfield Cup earlier in the season, Without A Fight completed a historic double and looks to have an incredible future ahead of it, at the very sharp end of Australian racing.