Without A Fight Lands the Melbourne Cup-Caulfield Cup Double

Without A Fight | Racingfotos

On a sunny Tuesday, 84,492 patrons were on hand to witness the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Without A Fight (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) win the 163rd G1 Melbourne Cup.

There were so many layers to the victory of Without A Fight. The 7-year-old gelding has arguably been in career best form, winning the G1 Caulfield Cup S. last start and joined a rare collection of Thoroughbreds to claim both Cup races in the same season–the latest being the great mare Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm).

The victory also served as back-to-back victories for jockey Mark Zahra, who partnered Gold Trip (Fr) (Outstrip {GB}) to success in 2022 for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

Zahra made the tough decision to jump off Gold Trip (Fr) Outstrip {GB}) after riding in the G1 Cox Plate to stick with Without A Fight. There were opinions aplenty over the matter, but ultimately, Zahra's judgment was proven correct.

There were also plenty of doubts over the son of Teofilo's (Ire) ability to stay the 3200 metres, having finished 13th in the Melbourne Cup last year. However, Without A Fight has proven to be an improved horse this season, racing with great zest in the winter. The gelding added the G3 Lord Mayor's Cup at Eagle Farm and followed that up with a devastating victory in the G2 The Q22.

All those doubts were put to bed when Without A Fight ran away to win by 2.25l from the Chris Waller-trained pair Soulcombe (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) and the charging Sheraz (Fr) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). Co-trainer Sam Freedman was on course to celebrate becoming a Melbourne Cup-winning trainer, telling Racing.com, “Credit to the old man [Anthony Freedman]. He's been incredible through all this. He went to Queensland and looked after Without A Fight, and when he won The Lord Mayor's Cup and The Q22, we set our sights on the Cups.    “There's a lot of little moments, and I'm a lot younger, so I can get pretty worked up sometimes, whereas Dad [Anthony] is more relaxed, calm and collected. He's been a constant support at home. All the team behind the scenes need to be thanked. We couldn't get Without A Fight here without everybody's help.

“Without A Fight has continued to learn and improve; he was a fierce-going horse. Queensland helped him, but he's a horse that just loves to work, and he was fit and well up there. He genuinely loves his work and pins his ears back every time you train him.”

Zahra, becoming the seventh jockey to win the Melbourne Cup on more than one occasion, was understandably jubilant and told Racing.com, “My whole objective and well I thought my biggest opposition was my horse himself (Without A Fight). He can be pretty keen, and I went and worked with him the other day and he was keen. So, going to the gates, he was relaxed, which was a good sign.

“But I really wanted to find the fence, and if I could at any stage, he's a horse that relaxes much better on the fence. Slowly, I gained ground up the inside, and Ollie (Damien Oliver, Alenquer), Gold Trip and Ryan Moore (Vauban) were in front of me. and that was a tick, and felt if I could stay here as long as I can and wait for these three to make their moves, I'm going to follow them.

“I was able to travel and smoke up behind the right horses, and this horse has a good turn-of-foot. I got to the front, but I felt there was no way anything was coming from behind me, and boom! Away we went.

“For it to pay off, it's justified.”

Without A Fight, a son of Teofilo, continues the outstanding influence that stallion has held over the Melbourne Cup, siring three of the past six Cup winners.


Pedigree Notes

The first horse since the mighty mare Ethereal to take out the G1 Caulfield/G1 Melbourne Cup double in the same year, Without A Fight looked a happy horse as he strutted out onto the Flemington track. Coping admirably with the warm weather and the big crowd, the tough and classy 7-year-old wrote his name into the history books with a stunning 23l turnaround on his well beaten 13th last year. That was his first Australian run, and he has come along in leaps and bounds with the benefits of acclimatisation, this historic victory his four from six starts Down Under.

The third Melbourne Cup winner sired by former Darley shuttler Teofilo (Ire)–Twilight Payment (Ire) (2020) and Cross Counter (GB) (2018) the others, Without A Fight is the third recent Cup winner to descend from the acclaimed matriarch Lady Josephine (GB) (Sundridge {GB})–Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}), Vow And Declare (Aus) (Declaration Of War) the others. A dual Group 1 winner over 1400 metres Teofilo–who last shuttled in 2017–calls Kildangan Stud home. A homebred for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, Without A Fight was successful at Group 3 level and twice in listed company in the UK. One of Teofilo's 112 stakes winners, he is out of the talented race mare Khor Sheed (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), a Group 3 and dual listed winner. Another three of her foals are winners and she is the grandam of the G2 John C. Mabee S. winner Avenue De France (Fr) (Cityscape {GB}).


Tuesday, Melbourne, Australia
MELBOURNE CUP-G1, A$7,750,000, VRC, 11-07, 3yo/up, Open Handicap, 3200mT, 3:18.37, gd.
1–WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE), 56.5, g, 6, by Teofilo (Ire)
                1st Dam: Khor Sheed (GB) (MSW & GSP-Eng, GSW-Ity,
                                $235,281), by Dubawi (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Princess Manila (Can), by Manila
                3rd Dam: Halo's Princess (Can), by Halo
O/B-Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum (Ire). T-Anthony &
Sam Freedman; J-M Zahra; A$5,060,000. Lifetime Record:
GSW-Eng, GSP-UAE, 23-11-3-4, A$9,464,881. Werk Nick
   Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
   free Arion.co.nz catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Soulcombe (GB), 53.5, g, 4, Frankel (GB)–Ribbons (GB), by
Manduro (Ger). 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. (190,000gns RNA
HRA '21 TATAPR). O-A Kheir, J A O'Neill, Carty Racing, S A
Lewin, V Kheir, T R Maddern, B D Nettlefold, D Edmonds, A K
Racing, B A Secatore, Mrs R T Secatore, B J O'Brien, Bromfield
Park Pty Ltd, Punt Road End, N A Greenhalgh, Mrs M T
Greenhalgh, Sneesby Racing, Sir M Arbib, B G Arbib & C M
Budgett; B-Pursuit of Success LLC (GB); T-C J Waller; J-J
Moreira; A$1,100,000.
3–Sheraz (Fr), 51.5, g, 6, Sea the Stars (Ire)–Shemiyla (Fr), by
Dalakhani (Ire). O-G C Sneesby, Mrs J T Sneesby, N A
Greenhalgh, Mrs M T Greenhalgh, I Bruce, P Aspropotamitis,
Platinum Dream (S Westwood), Jalana (D Gremmo), G W
Aldridge, A T Avramides, Mrs S Avramides, Muzben Racing (B
Stewart), M Grech, Kirk Thoroughbred Racing (G P Kirk) & G
G's Shout (D Gremmo); B-H.H. The Aga Khan's Studs Haras De
S.a. Le Prince Aga Khan; T-C J Waller; J-Beau Mertens;
Margins: 2 1/4, HF, 2. Odds: 7.00, 8.50, 150.00.
Also Ran: Ashrun (Fr), Daqiansweet Junior (NZ), Interpretation (Ire), Absurde (Fr), True Marvel (Fr), Vow and Declare (Aus), Military Mission (Ire), Okita Soushi (Ire), More Felons (Ire), Lastotchka (Fr), Vauban (Fr), Future History (GB), Breakup (Jpn), Gold Trip (Fr), Virtuous Circle (NZ), Serpentine (Ire), Kalapour (Ire), Alenquer (Fr), Magical Lagoon (Ire), Right You Are (Aus).
Click for the Racing Australia chart. VIDEO.

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